Sunday, 26 October 2008

Allegations of corruption in San Fulgencio have ended with the arrest of the Chief of the Local Police.

21:19 |

Allegations of corruption in San Fulgencio have ended with the arrest of the Chief of the Local Police.Bernardo Cortijo, who has only been in the post for less than a year after a motion of censure, was detained yesterday in an operation carried out on the orders of the anti-corruption prosecutor and Court number three in Orihuela. It appears that he is linked to the bribery case which has already resulted in the arrest and imprisonment on remand of the independent councillor Manuel Barrera.Barrera is alleged to have accepted 5,000 € in exchange for his support for a building project with 4,600 homes. COSTA former deputy mayor and leading councillor for an expat political party has been remanded in prison without bail after being charged with bribery disclosed by a video recording.Manuel Barrera – former deputy mayor of San Fulgencio and president of the Agrupación Independiente del Mediterráneo (AIM) party – was arrested on Monday and taken in handcuffs to the town hall where police searched his office and then his house in La Marina.
He and his partner were placed in the cells at the National Police headquarters in Alicante.She was released on Tuesday after making a declaration and handing in the 5,000 euros involved in the case.On Wednesday evening Sr Barrera was questioned by a judge for three hours before being sent to prison.The scandal blew up last Friday when a regional newspaper published a video and transcript of Sr Barrera meeting with two businessmen in a restaurant in which he appeared to take an envelope containing 5,000 euros in return for ‘favouring’ a construction project.The meeting took place in Valencia in September and was captured by a hidden camera.Alicante’s anticorruption prosecutor Felipe Briones launched a judicial investigation and ordered the newspaper to hand over the tape.In it, the men claim to represent a Catalan construction firm and say they have between 200,000 and 240,000 euros available.The 5,000 euros is the first instalment if ‘you are our man’, they state.
“I don’t give away my work, because my work is my time; if I take time from doing what I like, which is being with my partner, my boat, my fishing, my sailing, travelling and my dogs, I’m very sorry but this has to be paid for,” Sr Barrera replies.“Then there’s another thing; we are all going to benefit from my knowledge and my experience, and this also has a price.”He subsequently agrees on the quantity and says that large notes are better ‘because they take up less space.’
“As soon as anyone talks, the deal is off,” he adds.

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