The National Court is pursuing another former leadership position of the Valencian PP

The National Court is pursuing another former leadership position of the Valencian PP

The National Court is pursuing another former leadership position of

The National Court has proposed benching another former senior PP official in the Valencian Community. Examining magistrate Manuel García-Castellón has charged Serafín Castellano, former minister of the Valencian Generalitat and former government delegate, with allegedly being part of the so-called fire cartel, an alleged criminal organization that has agreed to change the contracting and awarding of the firefighting contracts in of air traffic control through corruption of civil servants and authorities.

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A preliminary investigation that the public prosecutor’s office began in 2014 and was taken over by the regional court in 2017 ended with a decision dated May 11, in which a total of 32 people were charged. It was “sufficiently accredited,” according to the judge, “that the parties involved have come together to “change” the public procurement and award procedures. They did this “for profit and through multiple systems and mechanisms,” “corrupting, through economic compensation, several officials and agencies” responsible for making important decisions.

The magistrate describes how the above businessmen and their companies “have geographically dispersed the public procurement market in the sector, as well as the specific procurement procedures”. In addition, according to the trainer in his indictment, they “even” held meetings in which they determined in advance which specific companies would take part in these processes (and which would not), in which areas of influence, with which rotating shifts, in the form of a temporary one Association of Enterprises (UTE)’. “In addition, the establishment of successive compensation and economic comparisons,” emphasizes the judge.

The summary highlights that the corrections took place not only in Spain but also in other countries: “And occasionally this resulted in some competitions being left vacant, leading to a subsequent increase in the bid price in the negotiated procedure without publicity.” García-Castellón explains that only in the Valencian Community, where the “major violations” have been proven, contracts worth more than 151 million euros were signed between 1999 and 2017.

Gifts: clocks, vehicles or weapons

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After the investigation, the investigators come to the conclusion that the conspiracy corrupted authorities and officials “through gifts”. “And there was a systematic action to create an attitude of patronage in the area of ​​administration that works in the sector,” specifies the judge, who lists gifts such as cash, vehicles, hunting, firearms, watches, jewelry and stays in hotels . Thus, the decision of the instructor establishes that the former Minister Serafín Castellano received gifts worth more than 160,000 euros only for matters related to hunting activities.

Castellano came to power in the Valencian community through the conservative party. He was Provincial President of the PP in Valencia; General Secretary of the Autonomous Party; regional deputy; Mayor of Benisanó (Valencia); advisor to Eduardo Zaplana, Francisco Camps and Alberto Fabra; and government delegate to Mariano Rajoy, a position he held when he was arrested in 2015.