José Luis Peñas: The Supreme Court supports a partial pardon for the PP councilor who uncovered the Gürtel plot | Spain

José Luis Peñas, complainant of the 'Gürtel case', during the trial.
José Luis Peñas, complainant of the ‘Gürtel case’, during the trial.Kai Försterling (efe)

The Supreme Court supports the granting of a partial pardon to José Luis Peñas, the former councilor of the Treasury of Majadahonda (Madrid) who denounced the Gürtel case. The partial pardon that the Supreme Court supports would not reduce the prison sentence (five years and one month) to which he was sentenced for crimes of illicit association, bribery, documentary falsification, fraud, embezzlement of public funds and prevarication, but it would allow Peñas maintain his job as an ordinance in the Madrid City Council by commuting the two sentences of absolute disqualification that were imposed (one of three years and the other of two years and one month) for two penalties of special disqualification for freely appointed public positions or choice.

The opinion of the Supreme Court, which has already been sent to the Ministry of Justice to decide on the pardon, coincides with that of the Prosecutor’s Office, which a few weeks ago also reported in favor of partially pardoning the exedil of Majadahonda, whose entry into prison was suspended by the National Court while the grace measure is processed. In its report, the Public Ministry highlighted the lack of protection that complainants of cases like this have in Spain, unlike what happens in other countries, in which the figure of the whistleblower (whistleblower or repentant) is recognized and protected. The Prosecutor’s Office also valued the European directive 2019/1937, of October 23, 2019, regarding the protection of people who report infringements of Union law.

Peñas’ lawyer, Ángel Galindo, has shown his satisfaction after hearing the court’s decision. “It was about justice and the Supreme Court does justice with capital letters in granting this Pardon. He is the complainant of the largest plot of political and business corruption in democracy and without his complaint nothing would have been uncovered and the corruption would continue to be installed in the nation’s government, ”said the lawyer, reports JJ Gálvez.

The complaint that Peñas filed on November 6, 2007 before the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) of the National Police allowed to uncover the corrupt plot led by Francisco Correa and for which the PP was firmly condemned as civilly responsible by title lucrative. The popular ex-dile contributed 18 hours of recordings made over two years to the main leaders of the network, businessmen and politicians of the PP. Peñas was condemned as part of that plot, but the sentence already recognized his “essential” role in order to unravel it.

The prosecutor’s report on the pardon warned that the penalty of absolute disqualification in the case of Peñas would mean the loss of his job, which would suppose for him “an excessive and unnecessary affliction”. On the other hand, he considered that the partial pardon, commuting the sentences of absolute disqualification to two of special disqualification, would allow him not to lose his status as a public official and continue to perform his duties as an ordinance in the Madrid City Council.

In another report sent to justice, the Criminal Chamber opposes the partial pardon of Carmen Rodríguez Quijano, Francisco Correa’s ex-wife, who was sentenced by the Supreme Court to 17 years and 8 months in prison. The rejection of the grace measure in this case also coincides with the prosecutor’s criteria, unfavorable to pardoning Rodríguez Quijano.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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