Tomás Martín Morales tells that it was the year 2000 when he received an important call. On the other end of the phone, the voice of Arturo González Panero rang, The Albondiguilla, a local leader of the PP in Madrid who had just assumed the mayoralty of the rich municipality of Boadilla del Monte after a grotesque motion of censure. The politician had seized power by allying with four councilors from his party and four other independents to snatch the baton from a comrade of the PP itself. “[Arturo] He proposed to me to be manager of the Municipal Land and Housing Company (EMSV) ”, explains Martín Morales, who already had a close relationship with Francisco Correa, leader of the Gürtel plot:“ And I accepted ”, he points out in a confession letter sent a few days ago to the National Court.
“At that time, I ran several small family businesses in Getafe: wedding halls, a telephone store, a car alarm and sound workshop, and a disco bar,” adds Martín Morales, who also worked as a lawyer in Getafe and to whom I would begin to know him under the alias of Santo, as explained by Alfonso Bosch Tejedor, a former popular deputy.
Francisco Correa had chosen him as a key man to enter Boadilla, where he would have the approval of Albondiguilla: “I spoke with González Panero so that in the new organization chart of the City Council he would look for a hole [para Martín Morales] as a position of trust ”, admits the businessman in a letter. This is an example of how the corrupt organization nested within the institution, from where it manipulated public contracts, rigged awards to benefit certain builders and distributed millionaire bribes. A whole conspiracy that the National Court will begin to gut as of this Tuesday, when this new trial on Gürtel begins. An oral hearing that puts the PP back on the bench, accused as a lucrative participant and convicted on two previous occasions for benefiting from the network.
The Gürtel tree. Gürtel constitutes a complex skein that researchers have progressively unraveled. A kind of tree whose main trunk is the corrupt organization and from which different branches sprout. In total, the courts have already issued convictions for eight of them, with 69 people sentenced to jail: among other issues, for the diversion of public funds during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Valencia in 2006; the illegal financing of the PP in the Valencian Community during the electoral campaigns of 2007 and 2008; the payment with black money for the reform of the headquarters on Genova Street; or the case known as Epoch I, where the first stage of the plot was analyzed and the party was sentenced for the first time in 2018.
The Prosecutor’s Office, the State Attorney’s Office and the popular accusations now seek to add a ninth conviction – which would mean the third for the PP – with this view on Boadilla.
The plot of Boadilla. In his order to open an oral trial, Judge José de la Mata defined the plot as a group whose main objective was to “enrich itself” in an “illegal” and “systematic” way out of public funds ”, by awarding contracts with Correa’s own companies and other companies from which they charged a commission for intermediation. “To do this, they created corporate networks to get contracts, issue false invoices and hide the funds obtained; and they bribed authorities and officials, with whom they agreed to violate administrative regulations on hiring, “the judge added.
In Boadilla, the network entered the institutions with the support of the leaders of the PP – whom they entertained with thousands of euros in cash and gifts in the form of clothes or trips – and rigged awards that fell, among others, to Sufi ( which was part of the Sacyr group); Teconsa; o Constructora Hispánica, headed by Alfonso García-Pozuelo, who already confessed in Epoca I that he paid bites for the PP governments to give him projects. According to several implicated parties, they manipulated all kinds of concessions: from “minor contracts” (such as the organization of a “closing concert of the cycle tribute to Luigi Boccherini”); to the public service of information and attention to the citizen; or the works of a municipal swimming pool, a school, roundabouts, dozens of houses, storage rooms and garages …
The role of PP. The components of the plot distributed the money from the bites, but also supposedly used a part to finance events organized “by and for the PP”, according to the judge. The magistrate calculated that the party obtained an “undue benefit” of more than 200,000 euros, which was used to pay for surveys, videos, banners, mailings and acts of presentation of candidates for the elections. It was also allegedly used to pay for, among other things, the inauguration of the PP headquarters in Boadilla; a breakfast in an exclusive hotel; or an act by Esperanza Aguirre for the regional elections.
“This was done according to the indications and instructions received from the regional and national leadership of the PP,” explained González Panero. Martín Morales maintains the same: “Correa contacted me so that the EMVS could provide contracts to companies that, as he said, helped the PP and were recommended to him by the party’s national leadership. […] He told me that he had received instructions from the leadership of the party, through Pío García-Escudero (then president of the PP in Madrid), to award works to Constructora Hispánica in recognition of the financing of campaigns that this company was procuring for them ”, El Santo highlights: “Part of the money was for the party.”
The accused. De la Mata sent 27 people to the bench, but not all will finally sit on it. One of the accused has died before the trial and another has been declared incapable, according to legal sources. Of the rest, a dozen have sent confession letters to the National Court to acknowledge the facts, which complicates the defense of the PP. Five have done so in the last two weeks. Among the repentant are the aforementioned Correa; González Panero; Martín Morales; Bosch and García-Pozuelo. Also Pablo Crespo, number two of the plot and former secretary of Organization of the popular Galicians; the builders José Luis Martínez Parra and José Luis Ulibarri; businessman Jacobo Gordon, ex-partner of Alejandro Agag (Aznar’s son-in-law); and José Ramón Blanco Balín, tax advisor to the plot.
The miseries. With these confessions, the defendants try to reduce the high penalties requested by the accusations and show a “collaboration” with the justice – at the last minute and when the evidence against them accumulates – that opens the door to future benefits. For example, in its brief of provisional accusation, the Prosecutor’s Office requested more than 76 years in prison for Correa, who already accumulates other sentences for more than 92 years in prison; more than 64 years for Crespo, sentenced to more than 73 years in other derivatives of Gürtel; more than 40 years for El Albondiguilla; and more than 23 years for former MP Bosch.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.