Tuesday, February 27

The National Court endorses the trial of the former Minister of the PP Serafín Castellano for the fire cartel

The National Court has endorsed the trial of the former Valencian councilor and former Government delegate Serafín Castellano (PP) for being part of a criminal organization that allegedly arranged to alter the award of firefighting contracts in the air navigation sector.

The ‘fire cartel’ smeared with gifts for 163,736 euros the ex-conseller of the PP Serafin Castellano to share the market

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The Third Section of the Criminal Chamber fully ratifies the order to go to abbreviated procedure issued by the instructor, Manuel García Castellón, in what is known as the fire cartel case, regarding Castellano, for whom the Prosecutor’s Office requests 21 years in prison .

García Castellón proposed to try Serafín Castellano and 31 other people for forming a criminal organization whose fraud spread to other communities and even other countries, and only in Valencia, where a greater number of irregularities have been detected, contracts were concluded for 151,585,386, 22 euros between 1999 and 2017.

The National Court considers that the facts may constitute crimes of criminal organization, price alteration in competitions or public contracting, bribery, false documents, embezzlement of public funds, prevarication, illicit association, prohibited negotiations with public officials, influence peddling and illegal exactions.

In its order, the Criminal Chamber considers that there are “indications of criminality” and explains that the judge’s order “does not lack motivation nor is there an indeterminacy of the provisionally imputed facts.”

García Castellón indicates in his order that the investigation “has been sufficiently proven that a group of people and entities, active in the air navigation sector for firefighting, for profit and through multiple schemes and mechanisms, have come concerting to alter” the processes of “public contracting and adjudication”.

To that end, the order continues, “many officials and authorities involved in the adoption of decisions inherent to the contracting processes or the control and execution of the contract were corrupted through financial compensation.”

The Prosecutor’s Office accuses Castellano of allegedly favoring a businessman in the process of awarding firefighting contracts in the air navigation sector. A performance for which he was rewarded “in the form of hunts, hunts, lodging, trips”, cash and even trunks with hams.