The Popular Party has requested this Tuesday his acquittal in the oral hearing for the activity of the Gurtel plot in Boadilla del Monte, in which he is exposed to his third conviction for benefiting from the corrupt network. In this case, as responsible for profit for the illegalities committed in the Madrid municipality, the fifth Spanish city with the highest gross income. In the last session of the trial, which has been seen for sentencing, the PP's lawyer, Jesús Santos, has affirmed that this responsibility for profit would have prescribed and that, in any case, the party cannot be condemned because "it was completely unaware ” those alleged “acts” which, if they had taken place, would have been carried out “without their knowledge or consent”. "That is, against the will of the Popular Party," he asserted.
Seventeen confessions for the Gürtel trial where the PP is playing his third sentence
The Prosecutor's Office does not think so, which requests that the PP be ordered to pay 204,198.64 euros when considering proven that part of the bribes in exchange for public awards in the municipality were presumably destined to pay expenses of the municipal campaigns of the Conservatives. In the opinion of Anticorruption, there was a "profit" for the formation and, consequently, the "obligation" of the party that Pablo Casado now leads is to compensate that money. In this regard, the lawyer has insisted that these expenses would have been made "in secret or outside the party" and by "people who lacked the power to compromise the party", whose intention was "to benefit themselves". "A personal enrichment," he asserted.
In the last section of his speech, the lawyer made a plea in defense of the honorability of the PP and stated that, since 2008, the party has been reacting with the "media existing at that time" to the different causes of corruption, which has framed the "execrable" performance of certain public servants who "defrauded the trust" of the party and who cannot "tarnish" the activity of thousands of members who carry out their public service activity with "exemplarity".
On January 13, the Prosecutor's Office maintained in its conclusions the responsibility for profit of the PP for the contracts allegedly awarded by the consistory in exchange for commissions to the companies Sufi (24,000 euros), Constructora Hispánica (30,000) and Teconsa (120,000) in addition to various minor contracts (29,000). The Anticorruption thesis is that the PP benefited from these operations by getting companies in the plot to pay the costs of different political events organized by and for the party.
In her statement, the prosecutor made it clear that she gave full credibility to the story of the internal auditor of the formation during the stage under trial, Carlo Lucca Bugniani, who testified as a witness at the proposal of the PP. According to the prosecutor Concepción Nicolás, in his interrogation he stated that “the PP is a single economic person, a single principal with a single number in the party registry and clarified that the expenses of the municipal campaigns have to go through the common services and that everything is contracted from Genoa”. In her opinion, all the questions regarding whether the financing of the Boadilla PP was known in Genoa were resolved "easily" by this witness. “We are talking about a single legal person and a single economic person. It's that easy," insisted the prosecutor.
This has been the thesis that the defense of the PP has tried to refute this Tuesday. Santos - who also referred on several occasions to the testimony of this witness - has insisted that the candidates for an election cannot commit or spend money on behalf of the party and that this is a power reserved to the representatives. "It is not that there is no proof of charge to prove that use or that enjoyment [de los supuestos gastos desviados a campañas]is that there is evidence that shows the opposite", said the lawyer.
At this point, the lawyer has referred to the statements of several of the defendants who have recognized the facts of which the Prosecutor's Office accuses him in exchange for a reduction in the request for sentences. Among them, the leader of the Gürtel, Francisco Correa. Santos recalled that Correa confirmed during his interrogation that, on occasions, the entries that reflected expenses did not correspond to true disbursements and that he used to order campaign entries with funds that he himself had available. “Perhaps it was money that I kept, it may be,” Correa said, as the PP lawyer recalled.
The day began with the appearance of the defense of Alicia Vallejo, former partner of the former mayor of Boadilla and municipal official. Vallejo is accused of the crimes of document falsification and money laundering for, supposedly, helping the former councilor to hide funds of illicit origin through the sale of a home owned by him in the Madrid municipality for more than half a million euros to one of the companies of the former mayor. The Prosecutor's Office asks for five years in prison for her.
In the report process, her lawyer has defended her acquittal and has assured that she was the victim of a "machinery" designed to deceive her concocted by González Panero, against whom she has harshly charged. She has assured, in this sense, that she sold that property "due to economic suffocation, gender violence [por parte de su exmarido] and the need to move houses” and not to “cover up or hide absolutely from anyone” or after the promise that he would receive the public protection housing that was later awarded to him in return. “She has neither conveyed nor received absolutely anything that links her to any plot,” he stated.
After the reports, six of the defendants who have not agreed with the Prosecutor's Office have exercised their right to the last word and have emphasized their innocence. Among them, Vallejo herself. Juan Carlos Rey Rico, former technical director of the Boadilla Department of Sports, has also participated; Rodolfo Benigno Ruiz Cortizo, alleged launderer of Gürtel; Juan Siguero, former councilor of Boadilla for the PP and successor to Arturo González Panero as mayor after the outbreak of the case; José Francisco Pastor de Luz, former councilor and former manager of the Board of Culture; and Jorge Martínez Massa, former president of L'Oréal in Spain.