July 11, 2007 at 8:41 pm #53013
In newly-released documents from the Malaya corruption case, Aifos has been shown to have bribed dozens of Judges, notaries, property registrars etc.
There will now be a separate investigation on this.
Let’s hope these judges will be named and shamed……and sacked.
No wonder justice is not always seen in Spanish courts.
July 11, 2007 at 8:50 pm #73469
It’s particularly disturbing that some of those implicated are Magistrates from the Andalucian High Court of Justice.
July 11, 2007 at 8:55 pm #73470
There doesn’t seem to be an end to all the corruption does there! I heard a comment on local radio yesterday which said that out of 106 people arrested, the Judge Urquía (accused of bribery) was the only one not to spend a night in prison…friends in high places??
July 12, 2007 at 7:33 am #73475
at long last the truth seems to be coming out, i don’t think anything’s below this lot?. Let’s hope future cases against Aifos will be judged with an even hand?
July 16, 2007 at 10:46 pm #73570
The issue here is that there have been people up before these (alleged)
corrupt judges who were in receipt of bribes by aifos and the thing is what hope is there of receiving justice or a fair hearing of your case when the judge hearing the case is in aifos pocked and being given a backhander/brown envelope to make sure the case goes in Aifos favour.
I say this with the voice of experience.
July 17, 2007 at 7:55 am #73574
yes, you were right all along. This is what really pi**es me off! Why on earth should you and heaven knows how many other people have to wait until the s**t hits the fan, before your situation would be (or should be) taken seriously by those who could help you to fair justice. What an utter disgrace the system is. Will this start to bring very overdue change? It’s hard to be confident.
July 17, 2007 at 12:56 pm #73579
I think until recently, it was only dared whispered “I wonder if….probably… the judges are as bent as the rest of them”.
Now the cat is out of the bag with the news of Judge Urquía and the judges linked with Aifos, I just hope these judges are named, and everyone who feels they have received unfair justice in their courts are given the chance of a re-trial.
For those of us with pending cases, I think this latest relevation about judges can only bode well. Any favouritism towards a developer will surely only imply complicity in my opinion.
I know it’s hard to feel confident this news will make a difference Goodstich, but it’s got to be better than a poke in the eye with a long stick!
Stay positive – this year for a court-heaing has to be better than a year ago. Judge’s on best unbiased behaviour?….cherish the thought!
July 17, 2007 at 4:30 pm #73585
yes, i think it must be good news for us, i feel quite confident about that, as like you say, cases going through now will probably be watched with interest, but will the corruption be dealt with on an ongoing basis i wonder?, or without actual strict law changes, will it spread its tentacles again as soon as the heat dies down in certain areas?
July 17, 2007 at 5:02 pm #73586
I follow the revelations re Marbella, Chiclana et al on a daily basis. As someone who enjoys living in Spain it is really sad to discover the depth of abuse of power by so many people in the construction and allied sectors.
It is bad enough that developers and agents rip you off (you kind of expect that though). When lawyers, Notaries and officials/politicians from the Town Hall are also involved, the scale of abuse becomes worse. But, when those right at the apex of society, who are there to protect the injured, are also involved, the machinery of good governance has hit a real low.
The articles I have read in El Mundo do not say if any of the Judges refused the “gifts” from Aifos. So, out of equity, we should await further developments before tarring everyone with the same brush. But I suspect the damage is already done on the basis that there is no smoke without fire.
I do hope that someone in the highest echelons of Government will realize the damage this is doing to Spain. I believe that one of the biggest problems here,and in other Mediterranean countries, is that the majority of the population think it is fair game to cheat the system.
With this cultural mindset has come a laissez-faire attitude to illegal building. Sadly, in certain locations, it is out of control. Chiclana is a classic example but I also suspect that many of the small houses covering the slopes of the Axarquia are also illegal. And, these are but two examples.
The fault for this situation must lie with the failure of the institutions (Local,Provincial and Regional Government) to monitor activity in the construction sector. And then, when abuses are revealed, for all the actors in the legal system (from the Colegio de Abogados through to the Courts) to be seen to protect the injured and punish the guilty.
I think it is too strong to claim that the Brits and other northern Europeans are intrinsically more honest than the citizens of the Club Med countries. But, our tendency to bend the rules is held in check by the relative strictures of our town planning systems and the professional obligations of lawyers and accountants vis a vis the authorities.
I find it very strange that Miguel Angel Torres,the judge in charge of the Malaya case, is being substituted. Surely it makes sense for him to see this case through to its finality. His substitution can only lead to delay.
Whatever the outcome of this case, does anyone believe that all the money amassed illegally by Roca will be returned to the Ayuntamiento of Marbella? Spaniards I speak to give me a knowing shrug!
It is impossible to defend the behaviour of those involved in fraudulent activity in the construction sector. Equally, it is of zero comfort for those directly touched by this fraud to be interested in analysing why this has happened.
As none of this could have occurred without the Junta de Andalucia conveniently turning a blind eye, it is difficult to believe that an appropriate response will be forthcoming from the authorities who have so badly failed residents and non-residents alike. Manuel Chaves repeatedly claims that corruption is unacceptable and that he is going to stamp it out. The problem is that he and the PSOE have been in power ever since Andalucia became an autonomous region and all of these scandals have taken place under his stewardship.
Whilst Spain has been hugely successful in transforming itself from a dictatorship to a democracy in a little over 30 years, perhaps this transition has not been matched in the operation of the institutions which govern the country.
Also, the practice of “enchufismo”(you scratch my back…) has to be tempered. This is easier to say than achieve as reliance on family and political networks is deeply ingrained in the culture of Mediterranean countries. People in Greece, Spain and Italy have been so badly let down by their governments that people fall back on family to make things happen.
I hope this post does not read too much like an execise in “navel gazing”. We have an instinctive idea how our “home” countries function.
Living in a new country inevitably leads to a curiosity about what makes the place tick.
Finally, best of luck to all of you who are enduring tough times.
July 17, 2007 at 7:59 pm #73590
Excellent post, you have said it so well I couldn’t add to it, except of course I totally agree.
July 18, 2007 at 7:08 am #73594
yes, well said. I think it’s time for the people of Spain to kick out those who are ruing their country. If they vote for those promising to make big changes, and openly protest against those who are doing the damage at the moment all levels, then at least it will present a face of trying to put the wrongs right, and would hopefuly show unity in the people and those who govern for a wish for what we would consider a decent system, which doesn’t seem to be the case at present?
July 18, 2007 at 7:47 am #73597
As usual, a great post casalaloba. Good observations without the waffle.
I think it’s time for the people of Spain to kick out those who are ruining their country.
One of the problems is when the local population have a ‘vested personal interest’ in re-electing a corrupt Mayor, as shown recently with Juan Martin Serón, Mayor of Alhaurin el Grande. Afterall, they’ve stumped up their 6000 euros (and the rest…) for their illegal building licences.
July 18, 2007 at 10:15 am #73602
What Charlie refers to in Alhaurin provides a wonderful example of the “enchufismo/amiguismo/favoritismo” which so bedevils life here.
Those who illegally built houses did so on the basis that everything would get sorted out because” my cousin works in the Town Hall and the Mayor needs our votes”.
There is a real paradox with all this. Spaniards will tell you that all politicians are corrupt. However,in their personal lifes many avoid paying IVA, underdeclare their taxes and seek favours from their contacts in the Town Hall.
Yesterday I settled a small bill with my builder. I didn’t notice that it included the words “IVA no incluido”. I saw him this morning and explained I wanted a bill with IVA for my accounting. “Oh he said, as it’s a small amount I assumed you wanted to forget about the IVA”. Just another small example of the laissez-faire attitude that rules here.
My accountant has told me that the Spanish Revenue have dramatically increased their inspections but I doubt if the old habits are going to change overnight.
July 18, 2007 at 10:33 am #73605
The garage who services our cars gives us a choice “do you want the bill with or without IVA”? 🙄
July 18, 2007 at 10:48 am #73607
While I share you views, If the people at the top are not setting a good example, why should the rest of the Country. People see what is happening and there is no accountabilty
Unlike UK they will not sit back and say I will not do this or that because its illegal or not right/proper. It is for this reason that The Govt and related orginsation in UK are getting away with it.
The problems of VAT evasion exist in UK, try and get any trademan to give you a receipt or pay by cheque, they ask you if its cash if you say otherwise they will not turn up.
“enchufismo/amiguismo/favoritismo” Where do you want me start in UK.
Mark Thather contracts for arms, Mendleson mortgage and re instatement, Toney blair shamefull free holidays with Berlesconi, Cliff Richard, Mrs Blairs hairstyling, Mr Pressott free holidays in Texas & Carribean, Cash for honours, Blunketts nany’s visa, Even making a war monger like Blair to be Peace envoy. etc,etc. Perhaps you been is Spain for too long let me remind you “THe school tie”
While, I am not taking sides or saying what is right or wrong. We have a tendency from the Victorian period to place things under the carpet and all is clean & tidy and its the Jolly foreigner who does all this not nice things. At least the Spanish knows the score and play the system.
July 18, 2007 at 12:05 pm #73611
the cash thing you mention in the UK is partly true, but i don’t think to the extent you mention. I run my own small business. We have had a tax inspection, and are told could get another one at any time? These are not to be taken lightly, and we face severe penalties if found to up to no good. This is serious enough to make ourselves and everyone else we know in business, play by the rules. We want to sleep at nights! If that feeling was shared by Spanish business folk, i don’t think Spain would be in such a mess regarding dodgy dealing. I think people in Spain and the UK are the same, in as much as it’s human nature for many of us to get away with what we can, so without good regulation, the bad guys flourish unhindered, and ruin it for all with their greed.
July 24, 2007 at 9:32 pm #73763
CGPJ to archive 😯 👿 👿 investigation into gifts to judges from Aifos
It’s been reported that the General Council for Judicial Power, the body which oversees the judiciary, is on Wednesday archiving the investigation into gifts made by the Aifos real estate company to a number of judges in Málaga province.
The news of the gifts came to light earlier this month amongst documentation in the case summary for the Malaya corruption case in Marbella. The gifts allegedly included free stays in hotels, with judges from the Andalucía High Court of Justice and the Málaga Provincial Court said to be amongst the recipients.
The recommendation from the CGPJ’s inspectorate service notes that none of their reports came back with proof that any gifts or invitations were given to the judges questioned. Well that’s strange because according to a police report, computer files taken from Aifos offices showed proof of the gifts, which were also offered to local council officials in Málaga province.
Why archive the investigation – why not let it be completed?
Sounds rather like the same ‘Boys Club’ scenario of the Colegio de Abogados supposedly ‘inspecting’ complaints against lawyers – in other words, a whitewash.
Oh well – it was ‘hopeful’ while it lasted. Think a few ‘phone-calls have been made….. 8)
July 24, 2007 at 9:42 pm #73764
This is really strange – when I made the above post just now, I did not put the 😯 👿 👿 in the heading. They just appeared once it was submitted.
Maybe there is a ‘higher power’ somewhere, watching, who is not happy with this decision and wanted to add an extra opinion ❗
July 25, 2007 at 7:19 am #73766
Do Transparency International know about this?
How sharp are their teeth???
July 25, 2007 at 8:42 am #73771
Meanwhile in a malaga court yesterday a man was given 6 months in prison, a fine and demolition ordered for constructing a 70m2 wooden house..he was British 🙄 (in Diario sur)
February 24, 2008 at 9:38 pm #79110
In Court this week:
‘……on Tuesday six businessmen will appear. Amongst them are two managers of the real estate developer, Aifos, followed by the company’s president and general director at the next date, which is set for Monday next week….’
February 25, 2008 at 11:05 am #79117
can there be many managers left at Aifos who haven’t been on some charge or another? I hope they are being watched very carefully, along with the judges who deal with them? With so much bad press about them, it’s a wonder they can get taken seriously in court?
February 25, 2008 at 11:15 am #79118
Yes, it will be interesting to see what happens. There are other ‘business men’ too appearing in court over the next 2 weeks, so will see who these ones are & how this affects even more of us. Will keep a close eye 8)
February 25, 2008 at 12:42 pm #79125
Hi Suzanne, had forgotten all about this one!
Will be interesting to see if the subject of bribes/gifts to judges are brought up or whether the charges are just the good ol’ brown-envelopes-for-building licences variety.
February 25, 2008 at 1:04 pm #79128
Yes Charlie – am wondering the same myself.
Just wish I could be there to listen in, but expect there will be a mad stampede for any spare seats. Hopefully lawyers looking after Aifos ‘purchasers’ will be among them ❗
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