The Prosecutor’s Office of the Supreme Court has been favorable to the granting of a partial pardon to the complainant of the Gürtel plot and former councilor of the PP in Majadahonda, José Luis Peñas, sentenced by the High Court to four years and nine months in prison for the first years of corrupt network activities (1999-2005), although he did not enter prison.
The Supreme Court validates the recordings of the former councilor of the PP that Gürtel uncovered but refuses to forgive him
Public Ministry sources have confirmed to Europa Press that the report has already been presented in which it supports granting the grace measure to Peñas so that the two sentences of absolute disqualification are replaced by those of special disqualification for public office of free designation or lesson and the impossibility of obtaining other analogues during the time of the sentence with the same duration, although the prison sentence would be maintained.
The same sources have specified that the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office has considered that “reasons of justice, equity and public utility concur” and, in addition, it takes into account the spirit of the European Directive 2019/1937, known as the “whistleblowing directive”, when be Peñas the whistleblower of a corruption plot.
The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office already advanced in May 2018, after hearing the judgment of the National Court for the first years of the Gürtel plot, that in case of a request for pardon they would be shown in accordance with its concession.
Last February it was announced that the Ministry of Justice had begun processing the pardon requested by Peñas by asking the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor’s Office to report on the granting of this grace measure.
The defense of Peñas presented, after hearing the final judgment of the High Court issued in October 2020, a request for total pardon, and subsidiarily partial to substitute the absolute disqualification for the special one, to commute the sentence. The Prosecutor’s Office has ruled in favor of the second option.
The Gürtel case began as a result of the complaint filed by the former Majadahonda councilor -who has not entered prison after the Supreme Court ruling-, together with his lawyer, Ángel Galindo, before the Economic and Fiscal Crime Unit (UDEF) of the National Police in November 2007 and which was expanded in May 2008 before the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office. Peñas contributed more than 80 hours of recordings of the conversations that he had over two years with the leaders of the plot.
To assess the request for pardon, the file must include the report of the sentencing court and the Public Ministry on their position regarding the granting of the grace measure. These reports, which do not have a legal deadline for their issuance, are mandatory but not binding, since the government has the last word.
As for the Supreme Court, the position that it will state in its report is not yet known, but in its judgment – which confirmed that of the National Court – it endorsed the recordings made by Peñas and assured that it did not harm any rights of the people who were recorded. .
This was also said when he ratified in 2018 the ruling of the Superior Court of Justice of the Valencian Community for the rigging in the hiring of the Gürtel companies for the assembly of the institutional stand of the Valencian Community at the International Tourism Fair (Fitur) in the editions from 2005 to 2009.
Several defenses have tried to annul the validity of these tapes alleging violation of fundamental rights. The high court has concluded that the meetings were “free and spontaneous” and that Peñas was the one who decided ‘motu proprio’ to record the conversations, including his own demonstrations, without following the instructions of the police or public investigative institution.