A popular jury yesterday declared the former mayor of Bigastro (PSOE) guilty of embezzlement of public funds between 1983 and 2008, José Joaquín Moya (PSOE), and the former auditor-secretary, Antonio Saseta. The main reason for this verdict (by 7 votes in favor and 2 against) was that they have not justified the fate of some 70,000 euros delivered by some businessmen as part of the payment of a public lot that they acquired for just over 2.2 million euros in 2007.
The Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, represented by Pablo Romero, at the end of the trial, asked the president of the court, Judge Javier Saravia, a sentence of four and a half years in prison for the one who was councilor and three years in prison for the official. The same as the private prosecution, which represented the City of Bigastro through the lawyer Marcos Sánchez Adsuar.
In his brief of provisional conclusions, the prosecutor had requested six years for Moya and three years and nine months for the notary public. The defenses requested that, when setting the sentence, the undue delays of the procedure be taken into account in order to reduce it.
Moya, 72, resigned in 2008, after his arrest and 12 years later dragged a series of convictions (also acquittals) for his public management. However, he had never been sentenced to prison terms, only disqualification from public office for crimes of administrative prevarication. And yesterday’s is only the first of the trials with jail sentences still pending for that arrest. The popular court resolved the majority of the more than 50 questions that were raised in the object of the verdict with 7 votes in favor and 2 against.
The events that brought him before a popular jury yesterday, in a trial that lasted four days, occurred thirteen years ago, after the award of a property to the mercantile Sogeinsa 2004 SA. The plot was located in the partial plan of the D12 sector and a price of 2,250,000 euros was set. The Prosecutor’s Office argued during the trial that 70,000 euros never reached the public coffers. The company put 90,000 euros as security for the auction, then delivered 1,035,000 euros to the City Council. As well as two more payments, one of 200,000 euros on May 4 of that year and another of 60,000 on October 3. The Public Ministry maintains that some of them were made in cash but were never accounted for in the municipal coffers.
Two years later, in 2010, after all the processing, the company requested the City Council to register it, which it did not obtain, so it requested the return of the money delivered up to that moment: 1,385,000 euros. The company went to court and in 2013, five years after leaving the Moya Mayor’s Office, a court ruled that the company should receive that money and the City Council give it back.
The Prosecutor’s Office explained in its letter that some of those payments that the company made during these two years, 2007 and 2008, “are not recorded or entered by the accused in the municipal coffers.” These include 26,000 euros of the 90,000 euros of the deposit (that is, only 64,000 euros entered the public coffers) and 44,440 euros of the 1,035,000 euros paid by the company, of which 982,800 were paid by promissory note and of the The remaining 52,200, which were made in cash, 7,760 were deposited in a municipal account, but not the remaining 44,440 euros.
At the trial, the prosecutor used a document on this payment of 52,200 in which the mention “44,440 Moya” was handwritten.
The president of the court will now have to set the prison sentence for the one who was one of the most important mayors of the region for 25 years, a former provincial deputy and a strong man of the PSOE and who last Monday, to questions from journalists, insisted on his innocence and in reminding them that since 2008 he is nothing more than an organic farmer.
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