The hearing in which the Supreme Court will resolve the appeal presented by Judge Salvador Alba against the sentence that sentenced him to six and a half years in prison and 18 years of disqualification for conspiring against the magistrate on leave of absence Victoria Rosell, current Government delegate against the Gender Violence, remains undated. The act was to be held on June 8, but it was suspended the day before after one of the members of the court appointed twenty days earlier, Pablo Llarena, abstained after realizing at that time that the accused was Alba, with whom had shared “moments of leisure” during the period in which both held representative positions in the conservative Professional Association of the Magistracy (APM).
Judge Llarena abstained from Salvador Alba’s appeal to the Supreme Court for having shared “moments of leisure” with him
While waiting for a new date to be set and despite having been provisionally suspended from duties, Alba continues to receive remuneration from the Ministry of Justice. Specifically, 1,841.59 euros net per month. These emoluments include their base salary (1,874.38) and the three-year period (656), amounts that are deducted from 688.79 euros of withholdings for personal income tax (Personal Income Tax), the judicial mutual (MUGEJU) , the association fee and the so-called passive rights (reserved for life pensions for retirement, in favor of families or for permanent disability).
According to official sources from the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), the magistrate is collecting a basic salary (with supplements he received more than 4,000 euros per month) under article 191 of the Judicial Career Regulations. “The judge or magistrate declared in provisional suspension will be deprived of the exercise of judicial functions during the time that the suspension lasts. The provisional suspension will have the right to receive their basic remuneration, except in the case of suspension of the disciplinary procedure for reasons attributable to it. , which will entail the loss of all remuneration while said paralysis is maintained. Nor will it prove there is any in the event of default or rebellion “, includes the norm that regulates the remuneration regime of judges and magistrates.
Alba was provisionally removed from the judicial career on June 19, 2018. The Permanent Commission of the CGPJ adopted that decision automatically after the Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC) decreed the opening of oral proceedings against the judge.
Thirteen months before, the then promoter of the Disciplinary Action, Antonio Jesús Fonseca Herrera, had submitted to the plenary session of the governing body of the judges a proposal for the expulsion of the magistrate from the career for a very serious lack of inattention in the initiation, processing or resolution of processes and causes or in the exercise of any of its judicial powers. The investigator of the file considered that in this infraction, typified in article 417.9 of the Organic Law of the Judicial Power, the facts fit better than in the other three offenses that he had initially described, two very serious (non-observance of the duty of abstention to knowing and revealing secrets) and a serious one (abuse of authority).
The disciplinary case was paralyzed in that proposal of separation from the judicial career, at the expense of the criminal procedure. The opening of the oral trial implied the provisional suspension of functions, but the final decision corresponds to the plenary session of the CGPJ, which will not be able to pronounce until there is a final judgment. As explained by sources from the Council, from that moment on and whether the decision of the Supreme Court is confirmed or if the magistrate’s appeal is admitted, the plenary session will have to assess the proven facts and analyze whether there is an identity among the reasons stated in the resolution of the high court and those that appear in the expulsion proposal submitted by the promoter of the disciplinary action.
If there were, the principle would apply non bis in idem, which stipulates that a penalty and an administrative (disciplinary) sanction may not be imposed successively or simultaneously when an identity “of fact, subject and foundation” is appreciated. Disqualification from exercising his functions as a judge would have the same effect as disciplinary expulsion. Even if the Supreme Court acquitted him, Alba could be definitively removed from the judicial career if the governing body understood, like the promoter of the disciplinary action, that he has committed a very serious offense in the exercise of his functions, in which case he would have to return the amounts received during its suspension, which already exceed 70,000 euros.
The Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands sentenced Salvador Alba to six years in prison and 18 years of disqualification for the crimes of prevarication, falsification of official documents and bribery. The Criminal Chamber considered it accredited that the magistrate used the period in which he replaced Rosell at the head of the Court of Instruction 8 of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (when the current Government delegate against gender violence attended the general elections in the Podemos lists) to try to fabricate evidence that would harm her professional and political career and feed the complaint that one of her political rivals had filed against her in those elections, José Manuel Soria, who was then leader of the PP in the Canary Islands and Minister of Industry, Energy and Tourism.
This criminal case was opened after the then administrator of the Canary Islands Comprehensive Security, Miguel Ángel Ramírez, investigated in that court for tax fraud, provided in court a recording of his clandestine encounter with Alba in the judge’s office. In that conversation, the magistrate tried to collect data and documentation unrelated to the purpose of the investigation in order to “obtain information harmful to the public image” of Rosell, as well as “to increase the chances that the complaint would be admitted for processing.” de Soria, presented a resolution that, in addition, condemned him to pay fines amounting to 12,150 euros and compensation of 60,000 euros to the magistrate on leave of absence for moral damages.