He Supreme court finalizes his sentence on the first stage of the Gürtel plot, which declared the PP a lucrative participant in the activities of the corrupt network led by Francisco Correa and which included legal arguments about the existence of a box ‘b’ in the party that were those who, ultimately, caused the motion of censure which cost Mariano Rajoy the Presidency of the Government.
The resolution could be notified this Wednesday although there are still fringes to be resolved that require that in any case the more than 1,000 pages drafted by the high court they will not be long in knowing each other beyond next Thursday. The same sources indicate that there will be a second sentence, which means that there will be some modification in relation to the one issued in May 2018 by the National Court.
The key to the resolution, beyond the confirmation or not of the convictions of those involved – among which is the former treasurer of the PP Luis Bárcenas – is in two issues that affect the main opposition party: the sentence must clarify if you maintain that the PP profited from Gürtel and also if he touches the phrases attributed to the progressive magistrate José Ricardo de Prada that took for granted the existence of a ‘box B’ in the party.
Specifically, the Gürtel court included in its ruling that ‘box B’ was “a parallel financial and accounting structure to the official at least since 1989, whose items were recorded informally, sometimes in simple handwritten sheets such as those corresponding to the defendant Luis Bárcenas, in which income and expenses of the party were recorded or in other cases amounts delivered to relevant members of the match”.
The question is whether the court respects these arguments or, on the contrary, considers, as several of the appeals requested, that These expressions were an excess taking into account that they constitute the nucleus of another procedure still under investigation in the Central Court of Instruction number 5 of the National Court, in the case called as one of the “Bárcenas papers”.
The digital newspaper El Español pointed out this Monday that the court is inclined to this last interpretation, which, despite not having consequences for the convictions, would have an important political significance.
In addition, if the convictions are confirmed, the resolution will assume that the Supreme Court has rejected the more than 400 reasons exposed in the 42 appeals of the convicted persons -both natural and legal persons- and the Prosecutor’s Office.
If so, the pjail sentences imposed on 29 of the 37 defendants In the trial, among them, the “head” of the Gürtel plot, Francisco Correa, to 51 years and 11 months in prison and the one who was his “number two”, Pablo Crespo, to 37 and a half years in prison.
It will also be known if the jail sentence for the former treasurer of PP Luis Bárcenas -in provisional prison- to 33 years and 4 months, and a fine of 44 million euros; At the same time that the PP is condemned for having profited from the electoral acts of 2003 that the companies of the Correa group in Majadahonda and Pozuelo de Alarcón, where ex-mayors Guillermo Ortega and Jesús Sepúlveda (also convicted) appeared, for which he was forced to pay a fine of 245,000 euros as a participant in the benefits of the corrupt network.
The National Court issued a judgment on May 17, 2018 in which it stated that in the trial, which was held for a little over a year, it was proven that between 1999 and 2005 (Gürtel’s early days) he was woven between Correa’s group and the PP one estable and consistent collaboration structure.
A network that consisted of the provision of multiple and continuous services related to travel, Event organization, within the normal activity of said political party in the communities of Madrid and Castilla y León, the city council of the capital and the Madrid municipalities of Majadahonda and Pozuelo de Alarcón and in the Malaga town of Estepona.
The Supreme Criminal Chamber, which has been deliberating on this matter for months, is made up of Judge Juan Ramón Berdugo, who is the president and speaker of the sentence; Antonio del Moral, Andrés Palomo, Susana Polo and Eduardo de Porres.
On the list of convicts are the wife of the ‘popular’ former treasurer, Rosalia Iglesias, sentenced to 15 years and a month in jail and who, if the sentence is confirmed, could go to prison; as well as the former Minister of Health and former wife of Sepúlveda, Ana Mato, who was fined 27,857 in the same condition as the PP for benefit from gifts, travel and the organization of events family members such as birthdays and communions of their children by Correa companies.
In their appeals, several of the defenses asked the Supreme Court to repeat the trial but with different magistrates, since they reproach that the court that tried Gürtel had no “appearance of partiality”, since De Prada, “contributed” to the change of Government in favor of the PSOE with his phrases related to the ‘box b’.
They added that the impartiality of this magistrate was previously questioned because of his “known friendship” with former judge Baltasar Garzón, first instructor of the Gürtel plot, whose performance was also questioned by several of the accused.
The action in the trial of another of the magistrates of the National Court also served other defenses to try to annul the conviction of his clients, such as that of any Secretary of Organization of the PP in Galicia Pablo Crespo, which even sent a letter to the Chamber urging that it take into account the investigation that the General Council of the Judicial Power (CGPJ) carried out in its day to the magistrate Julio de Diego for falling asleep during the trial, although it finally agreed not to punish him.