The Third Section of the Court of Malaga has set for January 9 the start of the trial of the ‘Astapa’ case, on the alleged urban corruption in Estepona. The trial will take place 16 years after the investigation began. The forecast is that the oral hearing will begin that day with the previous questions and in March the practice of the test, which will be divided into ten thematic blocks.

In total there are 50 people accused in this case, including former mayor Antonio Barrientos and other former municipal officials of the PSOE and the Estepona Party (PES), in addition there are another 27 people or entities as alleged subsidiary or for-profit officials and three accusations.

Crimes of falsehood, fraud, embezzlement, bribery, prevarication and influence peddling are investigated. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor asks for Barrientos a sentence of ten years and nine months in prison, disqualification from public employment for a period of 38 years and a fine. Anti-corruption accuses him of maintaining an alleged “Box B” in which they recorded contributions from real estate developers in exchange for certain urban facilities.

The former mayor has always defended his innocence and his actions at all times “within the law”; in addition to ensuring that he “has never enriched himself or obtained any benefit, either direct or indirect.”

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