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Conclusion of Spain's largest ever corruption trial

Sat 5th Oct 2013
Conclusion of Spain's largest ever corruption trial

Former local politicians from the Ayuntamiento of Marbella, Andalusia, were yesterday handed prison sentences than were far less harsh than initially expected.

A total of 53 local government employees were sentenced in what has become Spain's largest ever corruption trial, including former urban planning adviser, Juan Antonio Roca, who was sentenced to 11 years in prison and ordered to pay a fine of €240 million.

The Judge ruled that Roca had masterminded a "generalized corruption system" based on granting building permits or contracts against bribes,in a system of widespread corruption that thrived under former Mayor Jesus Gil y Gil between the years 1991 - 2001.

Roca was one of a number of public officials who allegedly took hundreds of millions of euros in bribes and from municipal funds. Building licenses obtained with bribes were often in in direct breach of local, regional and national planning laws and left many areas of Marbella crammed with concrete.

At the outset of the investigation in 2006, police confiscated goods worth more than €2 Bln, including a stuffed elephant, 100 horses, a helicopter pad and a luxury villa.

Various allegations of corruption have not been far from the front pages of the press over recent months, including various senior members of the ruling Partido Popular, and members of the Royal Family.

Former Marbella Mayor Marisol Yague received a sentence of 6 years, whilst her deputy Isabel Garcia Marcos 4 years and another ex-mayor, Julian Munoz, 2 years.

38 of the 91 defendants were acquitted.

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