September 21, 2020

the “sinister witnesses” who incriminated the Balearic nightlife magnate


They became the main witnesses on which, for more than three years, the investigations against the main leisure businessman in the Balearic Islands, Bartolomé Cursach, were based. Along with this, some 40 more defendants ended up in provisional prison with severe crimes hanging over their heads. However, for months, several reports from the National Police point to the alleged assembly organized to support the existence of a mafia network designed to protect the interests of the Cursach group.

Bartolomé Cursach: the owner of the Palma night well related to the PP that corrupted an entire island

Bartolomé Cursach: the owner of the Palma night well related to the PP that corrupted an entire island

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Such is the magnitude of what is thrown by the investigations carried out by the police force that, at present, it is the former investigators of the Cursach case – Judge Manuel Penalva, former prosecutor Miguel Ángel Subirán and four Blanqueo policemen – who are in the crosshairs of justice. Two anti-corruption prosecutors in Madrid, Tomás Herranz and Fernando Bermejo, are sponsoring the investigations into the role played by both jurists, who have used a “sinister” group of “unscrupulous” witnesses to obtain false incriminating evidence.

Along with them, those who have become key witnesses in building one of the largest open macrocauses in the Balearic archipelago, long accustomed to judicial vicissitudes, are also under judicial scrutiny. An instruction harshly questioned by the allegedly irregular practices that would have been used in it, to the point of placing the judge and former prosecutor at the epicenter of a “criminal organization” established in time, dedicated “to the repeated commission of crimes” and that it would have “spread terror among its actual and potential victims.”

A brothel that never existed

The peak of the Cursach case occurred in March 2017. We must go back to that date to locate the moment when the businessman, amid the wide expectation that his arrest had generated, was sent to prison without bail. Owner of macro-clubs such as Tito’s, Riu Palace and Mega Park – the largest European beer garden, whose appearance of a Gothic abbey became an emblem of tourist leisure in Mallorca – several witnesses had incriminated him in a connived network, in collusion with high political and judicial bodies, with the aim of keeping their businesses afloat and thus perpetuating themselves on the cusp of leisure.

The then investigators of the Cursach case – and now being investigated – supported their accusations using the demonstrations that, for months, were made mainly by two witnesses. On the one hand, María José Losantos – then protected witness number 31 of the case – who claimed to be the madam in a brothel attended by high-ranking PP politicians to participate in parties supposedly paid for by the Mallorcan businessman.

Current investigations suggest, however, that the brothel never existed and that these bacchanalia never took place.

Not only that. The alleged “prostitution businesswoman”, as she came to define herself and who, with her demonstrations, copied a good part of both the Balearic and national news, denounced attacks that, according to the National Police in one of the seven reports that have been prepared to date. the moment, they would not have occurred either. For example, the one who claimed to have suffered at the doors of her home at the hands of two hitmen sent by the Cursach environment. The police officers point, along these lines, to the “numerous crimes of accusation and false accusations” in which the witness – who came to assuring a roommate that her mother belonged to ETA and that her uncle was the former president of the Government Carlos Arias Navarro— would have incurred.

The current investigators also have an arsenal of recordings and WhatsApp messages that both the judge and the former prosecutor sent to the ‘fictitious’ madam to tell her what she should declare at a given time. Among them, you can read how the magistrate encourages her: “Courage, María José (…) Whenever you want and you can see how we tie up the loose ends so that they do not leave you as a liar”.

The “most dangerous” witness of all

Along with witness 31, the other key man in the Cursach case is Daniel Corral – former protected witness 29 – who worked as a waiter in one of the Cursach group’s nightclubs. Recently indicted as a result of the alleged alteration of evidence that he carried out during the investigation of the previous case, he denounced during his stay in judicial offices how the nightlife establishment was frequented by agents of the Local Police of Palma who were He entertained them with prostitution services, alcohol and drugs in exchange for guaranteeing Cursach’s protection. He came to testify about 60 times before the Penalva judge and the former prosecutor Subirán.

Recent police reports, however, debunk the version of this witness. They do so forcefully by referring to Corral as a “real guided missile” by the two lawyers against anyone who, in some way, hinders their investigations. And they come to brand him as a “devious, intelligent person, who manufactures evidence with a preparation that borders on the professional”, in addition to considering him as the “most dangerous” witness of all: “behind him he has a whole judge, a prosecutor and a group of policemen who are presumably criminally protecting him in his own interest. ”

The references of the National Police to this witness center one of the last two reports provided by the police officers in the case that investigates how the Cursach case was built. And, throughout its more than 400 pages, they describe him as “a sick and calculating person” who “does not hesitate to harass or denounce in a mendacious way anyone with whom he is obsessed or confronts”, in addition to allude to the “unconditional protection that the organized group gave him in exchange for incriminating local policemen” and to “how he presented his victims as true hitmen of the Cursach mafia group.”

The latest events in the investigations into the alleged irregularities committed by a judge and former prosecutor focus on another witness, number 26. It is a trilero who, in exchange for alleged procedural benefits after his arrest in 2016 in the framework of a police macrooperation promoted against this illicit activity, it would have been used by Penalva and Subirán to shore up their thesis on the alleged favorable treatment exchanged between businessman and local police.

Faced with the accusations that are looming over them, in mid-September both Losantos and Corral must render accounts before the Superior Court of Justice of the Balearic Islands. She will do so by videoconference: recently, a Palma court required her to be admitted to prison after failing to pay a 720-euro fine that was imposed, along with an eight-month prison sentence, for appropriating funds from a hostess club and for false reporting. Her search and arrest was also ordered as she did not appear in her last summons before the highest court of the islands, where she was to be questioned about her role during the investigation of the Cursach case.

The judge and the former prosecutor claim to be victims of a plot directed

Both Penalva and Subirán, for their part, claim to be victims of a plot aimed at knocking down the investigations they carried out. In fact, in a brief presented this week, they deny the existence of “truly solid” evidence against them and lash out at the actions of the Madrid prosecutors for providing grounds for an alleged meeting that, according to the National Police, the former prosecutor and the Trilero of the Cursach case to plan his statement in the case. Some demonstrations that, the two jurists assert, “will go down in the black history of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.”

Meanwhile, Cursach, under a request for a sentence of eight and a half years in prison for alleged crimes of belonging to a criminal group, administrative prevarication, coercion and active bribery, and, along with him, 23 other defendants, remain at the doors of the bench accused of part of the alleged irregularities reported against them. The investigations remain in place despite the alleged illegal practices uncovered by the National Police in the investigation of the Cursach case, which has led the businessman’s lawyer, the former prosecutor of the National Court Enrique Molina, to demand the nullity of the case for See your rights violated to a process with all the guarantees.

Other defenses, such as that of the former number two of Cursach, Bartolomé Sbert, have come to describe the judicial procedure in which they are immersed as a “real fraud, an evil fiction and an artifice from beginning to end”.

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