Saturday, October 05, 2013

Spain: Spain sentences 50 in huge property corruption scandal

Source: FOCUS Information Agency!

Madrid. A Spanish court Friday handed down jail sentences and large fines to some 50 city officials and business executives over a vast system of property-related corruption in the glitzy southern beach resort of Marbella, AFP reported.

The scandal, which broke in March 2006, two years before the catastrophic collapse of the Spanish property bubble, led to the unprecedented dissolution of the city council.

Former city planning advisor Juan Antonio Roca received the heaviest sentence: 11 years in jail and a 240-million-euro ($326-million) fine for setting up a "generalised system of corruption", said the sentence delivered by a court for the province of Malaga in which Marbella lies.

A judge read out a summary of the 5,000-page sentencing document, wrapping up a complex, years-long case centred on the payment of millions of euros in bribes to city officials by property developers.
Roca arrived at the Marbella city hall in the 1990s during the infamously corrupt reign of populist right-leaning mayor Jesus Gil, a former president of Atletico Madrid football club who died in 2004.

Roca, who accumulated great power under Gil and managed to maintain his sway under Gil's successors Julian Munoz and Marisol Yague, was found guilty of accepting hundreds of millions of euros in bribes from construction companies.