The Investigating Court 1 of Tarragona has sent the former socialist mayor of Tarragona, Josep Fèlix Ballesteros, and eight other people to trial for the Inipro corruption case, in addition to demanding a bail of 276,157.31 euros from the PSC, which the party will have to pay jointly with five others accused of working for training, although the salary was paid by the Inipro company.
The case, denounced by the CUP in 2015, will judge events dating back to 2009 and focuses on the contracting of the company Inipro by the Municipal Institute of Social Services of Tarragona (IMSST) to allegedly work for the benefit of the PSC. Specifically, the court will have to determine whether 276,000 euros were diverted from the IMSST to the PSC through a company related to this party, Iniciatives i Programes (Inipro).
The Prosecutor’s Office asks for five years and eight months in prison for Ballesteros (PSC) for the crimes of prevarication, contract fraud, false documentation and embezzlement. The PSC councilor Begoña Floria will also sit on the bench; former mayor Victòria Pelegrín; the former manager of Social Services Antonio Muñoz; the former chief of staff of Ballesteros, Gustavo Cuadrado; Alejandro Caballero, and five other defendants. The PSC will also do so, in its case as responsible for profit, that is, the alleged beneficiary of the corrupt plot.
Inipro was contracted in a negotiated procedure and without publicity to promote associationism among the immigrant population, but instead of re-tendering the service, the contract was extended without certifying the work carried out. The instruction of the main piece is closed, although the investigating court number 1 continues to investigate alleged ramifications of the case in other socialist municipalities in which Inipro was also hired.
Sources from the Socialists have indicated to the ACN agency that “the oral trial is finally here” after an “excessively long process that has left the defendants very unprotected, who have not been able to defend themselves.” The party has expressed its “full conviction” in the innocence of all the accused and have reiterated their “full collaboration with the Justice”. “We want to face the trial to restore the honorability of Josep Fèlix Ballesteros, which should never have been questioned,” said the former mayor’s lawyer, David Rocamora.