Friday, March 1, 2024

The trial of Erial’s case was postponed to March 21

The courtroom that judged the so-called Erial case suspended the trial until March 21 due to the illness of the lawyer defending Eduardo Zaplana, who recently suffered a heart attack.

The case that has lasted more than six years faces its final extension today, although the heart attack suffered by the lawyer of former President Zaplana will delay the trial proceedings from continuing on the aforementioned date.

The tension is the dominant note of the current session as a reflection of the negotiations made by the Cotino brothers with the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office to avoid imprisonment, negotiations that could result in millions of dollars in fines, but there is no disqualification of the contract of the administration, something that already happened in the Gürtel trial in which the Cotinos were also accused and which was tried by the National Court. In that case, all the businessmen who were investigated agreed to confess to the Prosecutor’s Office to avoid prison sentences.

These negotiations in the current piece of evidence may stimulate other approaches from other defendants in the Prosecutor’s Office, including Joaquín Barceló or Juan Francisco García. In any case, the agreements must be reaffirmed by the Chamber, something that will not happen until the trial continues. Now the tension between former president Zaplana and his former friend and “front man” Joaquín Barceló is evident: when the latter approached the former president, Zaplana turned and ordered him not to approach him.

It should be recalled that Zaplana was imprisoned for this from May 22, 2018 to February 7, 2019, although he remained admitted to La Fe due to the leukemia he suffered from December 18, 2018 to February 11, 2019.

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office requested a 19-year prison sentence for Eduardo Zaplana for collecting illegal commissions in exchange for awards from the Generalitat Valenciana, such as those for the wind power plan and the privatization of the Technical Vehicle Inspection (ITV) stations.

In addition, the prosecutor demanded the confiscation of 20 million euros, which includes illegal commissions and from which almost seven million euros have already been recovered.

Zaplana was accused along with his friends Joaquín Barceló (who the prosecutor asked for 8 years), Francisco Grau (same sentence), his former chief of staff, Juan Francisco García, who he asked for fourteen years; his former secretary, Mitsouko Henríquez, for whom he asked for eight years in prison; and the businessmen Vicente and José Cotino, with requests for a sentence of fourteen years, as well as the former president of the Generalitat, José Luis Olivas, who was questioned for a sentence of six years in prison.

The other defendants are Robert Bataouche, Ángel Salas, Carlos Rodríguez, Saturnino and Elvira Suances, Francisco Pérez, Pedro Romero, Robert Bataouche, and Ángel Salas, as well as various businesses owned by the defendants.

The crimes charged by the Public Ministry are criminal organization, money laundering, bribery, prevarication, and document falsification.

World Nation News Desk
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