The Astapa v. political-urban corruption in Estepona will be judged the next January in the Provincial Court of Malaga, sixteen years after the procedure was opened.
The January 9th The trial is scheduled to begin with the previous issues and six days of hearing have been set, so that the parties can allege and present their arguments that have a place in this section, according to a ruling of the Third Section of the Provincial Court of Malaga.
Afterwards, the Court will decide on them “and will decide immediately on the evidence that may be proposed”, and the trial will continue on March 7 Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 10:00.
The trial will be divided into ten blocks, as was done with the Malaya caseon corruption in the Marbella City Council, formula that helped speed up this macro-process in which, due to the high number of defendants and parties involved in the procedure, it complicates the development of the oral hearing.
Another similarity with the Malaya case, which was followed throughout Spain not only because of its economic and social relevance but also because of the complexity of its celebration, is that sessions will be held only from Monday to Wednesdayso that lawyers can continue attending their offices.
The first of the blocks to be prosecuted in the Astapa case will be about urban planning agreements and we will have to wait until the eighth section to deal with the alleged financing of political parties.
The prosecutor filed his indictment on June 27, 2018 and has requested ten years and nine months in prison and thirty-eight years of disqualification for the former socialist mayor of Estepona Anthony Barrientos.
The ex-regidor is accused of continued crimes of falsehood, fraud, embezzlement, bribery, prevarication and influence peddlingaccording to the provisional brief, which accuses 50 people, among whom are former councillors, businessmen and municipal employees and the dismissal of 39 is requested.
Barrientos has always defended that he acted within the law and maintains that he has never gotten rich or has obtained benefit outside the remuneration of his position as alderman at the time that affects his defense brief, to which EFE has had access, that the police reports and the Tax Agency are “riddled with errors.”
The investigation began in November 2006 when two socialist councilors presented in Madrid, before the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) of the National Police Corps, a letter accompanied by abundant documentation in which they denounced that crimes related to the corruption.
In the prosecutor’s accusatory brief, which consists of 162 pages, it is explained that between 2003 and the first half of 2007 the coalition government formed by the PSOE and the Estepona Party (PES) they created a box B in the Town Hall of Estepona to be able to increase public spending, which was unaffordable with the budgetary resources of the municipality.
The prosecutor maintains that said box B was nourished by economic contributions from promoters and entrepreneurs with real estate interests, “who naturally were not obliged to bear any payment that was imposed on them by means of pressure or through practices of misuse of power sponsored by local rulers”.
These contributions translated into direct donations to the City Council, in sponsorships sports and cultural activities, and also in the assumption as own expenses of the companies of certain debts that the councils or municipal companies maintained with their suppliers, which frequently gave rise to manipulations in the object of the corresponding invoices or the issuance of other false documents.
The required businessmen used to accept these pressures so as not to harm business opportunities and in the following years an irregular practice was normalized that made any relevant initiative or measure in urban matters normal.