Wednesday, November 29

Camps, between two benches

Almost twelve years will have passed when Francisco Camps sits on the bench from next January since he did so for the first and only time in the trial of the so-called suits case, from which he was acquitted. The Gürtel plot, one of the most scandalous versions of the corruption carried out by the PP in its years of government, has accumulated sentences for its members, the politicians who participated in its misdeeds and the businessmen who collaborated in them. But the former Valencian president has survived all the cases, including some in which he was investigated. Among them, those relating to the framework contract led by Francisco Correa for the Generalitat Valenciana pavilion at the Fitur event in 2009. It has also emerged unscathed from investigations such as the organization of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Valencia in 2006, the contract for the construction of the Formula 1 urban circuit in the Valencian capital and the endorsement that the Autonomous Government gave to the supposed organizing company of the automobile competition, which resulted in the endorsement of the ruinous costs generated by the large events you promoted.

If he has not managed to get rid of this new step on the bench, accused this time of administrative prevarication and fraud against the administration, it is largely thanks to the fact that some convicted in Gürtel’s pieces, such as the former general secretary of the Valencian PP Ricardo Costa, prosecuted for the irregular financing of the party, and the one who was the local ringleader of the plot, Álvaro Pérez, the whiskers, whom Camps considered a “little friend of the soul” in a famous conversation recorded by the police, was pointed out in court as the person who gave instructions to act with companies such as Orange Market, the Valencian terminal of the corrupt shed. Although he has tried to avoid it, the magistrate of the National Court José de la Mata, one of his “black beasts” whom he has sought to remove by all means, sends him to trial for contracts from various departments of the Valencian Government with Gürtel executed in “a situation of manifest illegality that Camps Ortiz was aware of,” in the words of the investigating judge.

Despite the fact that the judge considered during the investigation that there are clear indications that Camps ordered that the Valencian PP finance its campaigns through Orange Market with public contracts awarded irregularly or with black money from businessmen who have confessed the fact, the The former president will not be tried for irregular financing or embezzlement of public funds, due to the prescription of these crimes. Yes, he will be judged, however, by the statements of witnesses who assure that Camps, although he did not sign any resolution, is responsible for the award of a dozen irregular contracts to the plot led by Francisco Correa. Unlike what happened in 2011, when it was a popular jury that acquitted him and Costa, giving rise to the paradox that they were both exonerated of a crime of improper bribery than two other PP officials, the one who was vice president of the Generalitat, Víctor Campos, and the former chief of staff of the Ministry of Tourism, Rafael Betoret, confessed when accepting a fine for having received gifts in the form of suits and clothing that Gürtel paid, next January there will be a court professional who sees the matter. With also uncertain expectations about the result.

Because Camps presents himself as a victim of persecution from the left and a conspiracy by certain sectors of the security forces and the judicial world, protected by the absence of convictions. But, in reality, the opposite happens, since the former leader of the PP is an example of how judicial procedures sometimes facilitate a politician under whose mandate a few crimes already established in final sentences were committed to escape from his responsibilities. His status as a registered party and the decision of the Superior Court of Justice not to link the gifts of suits by the plot to the summary of the irregular financing of the Valencian PP were key, at the beginning of the judicial journey of the Gürtel, for Camps to remain “disconnected” from the rest of the pieces. To a large extent, when he was forced to resign in July 2011 as president of the Generalitat Valenciana before the imminence of the trial, he began his good judicial luck. The TSJ had tried to file the case, but the Supreme Court had forced it to reopen and, against the criteria of the prosecution and the initial investigating judge of the Gürtel in Madrid, Antonio Pedreira, who asked that Camps be tried together with Correa and El Bigotes, the Valencian court sent the matter of the suits to trial regardless of the instruction that would lead to establishing later that the party that Camps directed was irregularly financed through the plot that had precisely given gifts for thousands of euros to several high charges.

It is unlikely that Camps will really take seriously the political aspirations that he recently proclaims in interviews and statements, although you never know. In any case, his supposed desire to be a candidate for mayor of Valencia, elections that, according to him, he would win with the same ease that he accumulated absolute majorities during the time of hegemony of the PP in the Valencian Community, are part of the instruments of his defense , with which he is pressing to close his judicial adventures as he began them, now dodging the request of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor for two years and six months in prison and disqualification from public office for 10 years. All in order to definitively become the longuis about his leadership in one of the darkest periods of political corruption in this country.