The judge investigating box b of the PP of Almería imputes the secretary, a mayor and the former inspector of Roquetas de Mar | Spain

Judge Ana Belén Vico, who directs the investigation into box b of the Popular Party in Almería, has charged the secretary of the Roquetas de Mar City Council, Guillermo Lago; the Councilor for Finance and Contracts, Teresa Fernández; the ex-auditor Luis Ortega; and three municipal techniques. Justice has taken seven years to call to declare as investigated these six people linked to the alleged illegal financing of the PP since the police began the investigations in 2014.

Lago works side by side with Gabriel Amat, mayor of Roquetas de Mar for 26 years and honorary president of the PP in Almería, whom the police place at the center of the irregularities detected in 62 works awarded to the construction company Hispano Almería, but which It is not yet listed as being investigated in this case that is being instructed in Court number 3 of Almería.

The police investigation determined that the PP of Almería, the most powerful provincial group of the party in Andalusia, financed its electoral campaigns for the municipal elections of 2003 and the regional ones of 2008 with illegal commissions from the construction company Hispano Almería. After the complaint of two former workers, the internal accounting of the company surfaced amounts allegedly paid to the PP of that Andalusian province that add up to 110,000 euros.

Now, the judicial investigations are trying to determine if Hispano Almería maintained a system of payments to this party in exchange for the award of works, as well as if there was illicit enrichment of its leaders. Former employees revealed payments in white envelopes with 500 euro bills, always delivered at lunches or private offices to politicians

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The key evidence for the investigations are the receipts of alleged payments with contributions for the 2003 municipalities in Roquetas de Mar (36,000 euros) and the general and regional ones in 2008 through subscriptions to the PP of Níjar (25,000 euros). The Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit of the Police detected underhand payments from the construction company for 7.29 million linked to 62 work award files from municipalities such as Roquetas de Mar or La Mojonera.

The magistrate summons the six investigated for the end of January and the beginning of February, and asks the Tax Agency for the income, personal income tax and VAT declarations of all of them between the years 2000 and 2010. In parallel, she orders the Police to find out the patrimony that all those investigated treasure, as well as the bank accounts they have and their movements during said decade. The mayor Teresa Fernández is the wife of the president of the Institute for Agrarian Research and Training of the Board (Ifapa) and former mayor of La Mojonera between 2003 and 2015, José Cara, who was a partner of Gesponiente, a subsidiary of Hispano Almería.

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The judge investigates crimes of embezzlement, money laundering, influence peddling, prohibited negotiations, prevarication and criminal organization and group, among others. Among those investigated, the builder and owner of Hispano Almería, Miguel Ángel Morales, and his accountant Antonio Morales, the former councilors of Roquetas de Mar José María González, Nicolás Manuel Manzano and Antonio García, as well as the previous head of the planning office Manuel Bermejo and the municipal architect Javier Macías.

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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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