The judicial processes that affect the PP of Castilla y León have been a key factor for the regional president, Alfonso Fernández Mañueco, to decide to advance the regional elections to next February 13, according to the leaders of the conservative party admit privately. The early dissolution of the Cortes, with the polls in favor, implies breaking with Ciudadanos, led by the uncomfortable former vice president Francisco Igea and shortens the time for the candidacies of the Espana Vaciada platform to gain strength. It will also avoid the impact of some court cases. The day of the elections will arrive almost a month before the former president of the Board Juan Vicente Herrera (PP, 2001-2019) testifies in the trial of the Black Pearl case, on the additional costs of more than 20 million euros in the acquisition of a regional public building in Arroyo de la Encomienda (Valladolid).
The huge building was nicknamed that, among accusations of corruption in its acquisition, for its color and the pirate ship from the film Pirates of the Caribbean, A nickname that always bothered Herrera himself, according to sources around him. The extra cost is divided between the extra value of the land and the building and other payments of 10 million that corresponded to the developer.
The case began to be prosecuted in 2013 at the Provincial Court of Valladolid and reflected how Herrera was warned that this process was requiring amounts much higher than those provided by the expert analyzes. The first price demanded by the owners of the land and the building was 72 million euros, which was reduced to 52, according to the studies of the public company Gesturcal. In addition, among the expenses appeared unjustified contracts with Unifica, the study that irregularly reformed the national headquarters of the PP and whose perpetrators have been punished by the National Court. The Prosecutor’s Office pointed out the former Vice-Counselors of the Economy Rafael Delgado and Begoña Hernández, whom he is asking for 11 years in prison for prevarication and embezzlement, in addition to a 16 million euro fine.
The accusation also points to the late Tomás Villanueva, former vice president of the Board and Minister of the Economy between 2003 and 2015. Villanueva died in 2017 at the age of 64 due to natural causes, shortly after the Treasury began to investigate 83 bank accounts in relation to him. Black Pearl case. The Prosecutor’s Office accused him of circumventing the Treasury in the purchase of the building and the land, while in the PP they remember his involvement in the so-called Eolic Plot, still without a trial date but in the sights of the party.
This investigation analyzes the alleged profit of high officials of the regional executive and important businessmen of the community through bribes of some 80 million euros that they demanded to grant licenses for wind farms in Castilla y León between 2003 and 2013. The compensation demanded for irregularities in These awards exceed 850 million euros, figures as high as the fine that the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office claims for Rafael Delgado: 42 years in prison and 239 million in compensation. The former vice councilor and former secretary general of the Economy will meet at the Provincial Court of Valladolid with 16 other former leaders and businessmen. Delgado sent the judge in 2017 a letter incriminating the late Villanueva as a murderer of these bribes. The court also asked the Board for a bond of 24 million, a sum that it denied because the Statute of Autonomy states that this administration cannot present bonds before the courts.
The current PP of Mañueco has argued that these cases do not correspond to its mandate and has expressed its support for justice, although a third case of irregularities does splash the leader. A judge has accused the PP of Salamanca as a legal person, its president, Francisco Javier Iglesias, and the manager, María Isabel Sánchez, for alleged illegal financing in the primaries that promoted Mañueco in 2017 on the candidate Antonio Silván and that he they ended up leading the Board.
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The magistrate understands that the leadership of the formation in the province paid 61,937 euros to pay off affiliate debts so that they could vote in the primaries and opt for the then mayor of Salamanca. Of the total there are 41,490 euros paid “voluntarily” by charges of the PP and between this amount up to 24,240 “without justification”, an “illegal anonymous donation” according to the judge. Anonymous donations are prohibited in the political party financing law.
The first statements are scheduled in the Court of Instruction 2 of Salamanca for mid-January after a first delay on the scheduled date: December 30. PP sources believe that this pro Mañueco tactic was also applied in more territories of Castilla y León where the current leader was less popular than in Salamanca. The purpose of the leadership, they admit, is to remove the balance of these judicial sessions, whatever it may be, from the elections that could mean that the PP remains in power in the community, where it has been without interruption since 1987, then as the Popular Alliance. .