Monday, November 29

A formal defect threatens to leave unpunished the loss of the 44 million that the Board gave Isofoton


After a tortuous investigation of six and a half years, the Isofoton case runs a serious risk of going unpunished. A formal defect threatens to file the case that investigates the diversion of aid, loans and guarantees from the Junta de Andalucía irregularly granted to Isofotón, a Malaga multinational that manufactures solar panels that closed after ‘melting’ 44.15 million euros in public funds of the 80.5 million that successive socialist governments granted to the company between 2005 and 2012.

The last loan of 8.39 million, which he never repaid, had been received just a month before the current fourth vice president of the Pedro Sánchez Government and minister for the Ecological Transition and the Demographic Challenge,

Teresa Rivera, will go to work as general director of Strategic Development of the photovoltaic energy company. The judicial investigation tries to determine if the Board “watered” with millionaire aid to the company knowing that it was doomed to close and dismiss its workforce of 702 workers.

Attorneys for the 37 former senior positions and regional leaders – investigated for their “collusion” with the directors of Isofoton to grant aid – have requested the dismissal of the case in an appeal to be resolved by the Provincial Court of Seville. They allege that the case has expired for three years because the investigating judge number 3 of Seville agreed to extend the investigation after the deadline at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office.

There are 37 former high-ranking socialists investigated for alleged “collusion” with managers to ‘irrigate’ the solar company with public aid

The reform of the Criminal Procedure Law made by the Government of Mariano Rajoy that came into force on December 6, 2015 limited from then to 18 months, extendable for another 18, the time to finalize those investigations declared complex such as corruption cases, whenever the prosecutor requests it.

According to the appeal filed a year ago by the lawyer Juan Carlos Alférez, to which the rest of the defense lawyers have adhered, three of the four extensions agreed by the judge Patricia Fernandez Franco they were made late. Those who defend that the case would be expired have come up with an unexpected ally: the Supreme Court. On May 27, 2021, he issued a sentence for a similar issue that supports his thesis and that has been brought to the courtroom that must untangle this gibberish. In said resolution, it stipulates that “the excess and exceeding of the term without extension agreed within it determines the nullity of the proceedings carried out and everything that derives from it.” If new inquiries are made in an extemporaneous manner, “this entails material defenselessness of the person under investigation, not just formal defenselessness.”

Embezzlement, prevarication and falsehood

The striking thing is that not only the lawyers of the accused consider that the case has the days counted due to a formal defect. Other parts of the process, with divergent interests, share this concern. After the Supreme Court ruling, they understand that the file will be unavoidable and, with it, impunity for the alleged continuing crimes of embezzlement, prevarication and falsehood in a public document that the magistrate appreciates in the performance of the senior officials and former leaders of the ill-fated company.

In his appeal, the lawyer claims that «what collides head-on with the norm is to issue orders for extensions of the instruction when it has already expired, especially in the case analyzed, where even all the requests for an extension of the Public Prosecutor’s Office are presented after the deadline ”. Protected by the Criminal Procedure Law, it challenges the orders issued to extend the time of the investigation after June 6, 2017, “without the possibility of being able to practice more acts of instruction or practice of proceedings,” it states. Urges the Court to annul all inquiries after said expiration date and to close the case “due to the clear defenselessness caused” to the defendants who, in his opinion, were investigated based on “erroneous accusatory theses.”

The Provincial Court of Seville will have the last word. The lawyer recently reminded him that the appeal is pending. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office does appreciate documentary, technical and legal evidence that supports the criminal evidence and a «nserious negligence bordering on intention»In the granting of the last loan of 8.39 million euros in favor of Isofoton in August 2012 by the Society for the Promotion and Reconversion of Andalusia (Soprea), an autonomous company belonging to the IDEA Agency.

Despite “the existing breaches in the aid previously granted by IDEA” and despite the financial shadows that surrounded Isofoton, Soprea lent him 8.4 million public funds “in order to allow the repayment of a previous loan»Granted by the Board, as detailed by the Prosecutor’s Office. The amount of the public credit (8,395,845.81 euros) coincides even in cents with that claimed by the Administration with interest for aid granted in 2007 that had not yet been justified. It was never known where the money went. What is known is that it did not serve to support its 702 workers, as promised.

Three splattered ministers

The last of the aid came when the company’s accounts were already leaking everywhere. The 8.4 million loan was authorized by the Delegate Committee for Economic Affairs of the Board in which they took part María Jesús Montero and Luis Planas, current Ministers of Finance and Agriculture, respectively, as members of the regional Executive chaired by Jose Antonio Griñán, according to the minutes of the meeting held on July 3, 2012.

Neither of them is under investigation in this case. Either Teresa Ribera, which was booked as directive for the international expansion of the company one month after receiving the credit that was never repaid. The mission of the current fourth vice president of the Government in Isofoton, where she was working between September 2012 and May 2013, was to promote its international expansion. He had just signed a contract with the Korean multinational Samsung for the supply and installation of solar panels.

Precisely, the loan was intended to finance this strategic project. But on October 18, 2012, Samsung terminated the contract and returned 4 million to the Malaga firm euros that it had advanced and that Isofoton did not reimburse Soprea. In February 2013, six months after receiving the public loan, Isofoton filed a pre-bankruptcy.


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