Corruption in the PSOE: the former mayor of Alicante is sentenced to 13 years of disqualification for prevarication

The Second Chamber of the Supreme Court has today confirmed the commission of the crime of prevarication by who was mayor of Alicante between 2015 and 2018 the socialist Gabriel Echavarri, in 2 different cases. The sentences imposed between both cases add up to 13 years of disqualification.

Specifically, for the so-called Trade Casewhich was investigating irregular hiring from that department, which was directed by Echávarri himself, imposed a sentence of 8 years and 6 months of disqualification for employment or public office. In addition, for the decision to fire an interim official from the city council who, in turn, was the sister-in-law of the then leader of the opposition and now mayor of the city, the popular Luis Barcala, in retaliation for a complaint filed by the PP against the mayor socialist, the sentence of 4 years and 6 months of disqualification which in its day was imposed by the Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community (TSJCV).

According to the facts proven in the sentence that affects the so-called Trade casein which the division of contracts in that municipal area was investigated, during the months of November and December of the year 2016 and by decision of Gabriel Echavarri, that department contracted, through the minor services contract system – whose amount does not include VAT cannot exceed 18,000 euros- 25 operations with different companies for an accumulated amount of 189,762.86 euros, producing “the deliberate division of the objects of the benefits in order to evade current regulations on administrative contracting” that requires regarding the principles of publicity and competition in 9 of those contracts.

These contracts should have been processed “legally through public tender instead of a minor contract” because they refer to the same objects and are functional units, and “if the correct processing was not followed, it was so as not to exceed the legal limit of the minor service contract.

The Supreme Court now partially estimates the resources of Gabriel Echávarri and his adviser, Pedro de Gea, and replenish their initial convictions of 8 years and 6 months because the increase to 12 years that the Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community (TSJCV) carried out in its day meant, in the opinion of the Supreme Court, an aggravation of the sentences of the defendants, the only appellants, which is “prohibited by law if there is no appeal from the Public Prosecutor’s Office or any request as in this case.” The third defendant in this case, Eduardo ‘Lalo’ Díez, fully upholds his appeal and is acquitted.

The second case, which ratifies a sentence of 4 years and 6 months for the former socialist mayor of Alicante, refers to a decision by Echávarri himself to dismiss an interim official of the Alicante City Council, who was the sister-in-law of the then popular opposition leader Luis Barcala, in retaliation for a complaint filed against Echávarri by Barcala himself before the Prosecutor’s Office. The Supreme Court now confirms that it was arbitrariness carried out in disregard of the procedural rules and confirms the 4 years and 6 months of disqualification.

Gabriel Echávarri, pushed by this double accusation, resigned from his position as mayor of Alicante in April 2018, without there being an agreement between the leftist forces to appoint a new consensus mayor. This circumstance. Just a few days later, Luis Barcala was elected the new mayor of Alicante. A year later, Barcala was again elected mayor after the municipal elections and today he is the current mayor of the Alicante City Council. Echávarri’s stage was then left behind and today the supreme court it also terminates it in the judicial sphere.

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