The amnesty law, the Rubiales kiss and the corruption of ‘Gürtel’ and Villarejo, the big judicial appointments of 2024

The future amnesty law will be the main legal battle of 2024. Its application, from the moment it is recorded in the Official State Gazette (BOE)will be marked by the unconstitutionality appeals already announced by the PP and the autonomous governments that it directs together with Vox.

But not only the right will sue against the amnesty law: also the judges. Besides of Supreme Courtany judge who investigates a case related to the independence process may raise a question of unconstitutionality to know if the norm complies with the Constitution.

The battle will not only be internal, but European. The judges must choose the first route they will go to: or the constitutional Court or the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). They can go before the European Justice, before the Spanish court of guarantees, presenting a preliminary question to know whether or not the amnesty law violates community law in relation to whether the crimes of embezzlement forgiven to the leaders of the processes threaten the financial interests of the Union.

The way of the preliminary question It does not invalidate the question of unconstitutionality in Spain, but both appeals cannot be filed in parallel.

The amnesty law, and the judicial scenario that it will open, could be approved in spring, according to the estimates of Togetherand from that moment the judges will be obliged to review ex officio or at the request of a party the situation of those prosecuted and convicted of crimes related to the processes. The proposed amnesty law sets a two-month deadline for judges to undertake this task.

Rubiales’ non-consensual kiss

One of the court cases with the greatest impact in 2024 will be the one related to the non-consensual kiss that Luis Rubialesformer president of the Spanish Football Federationhe said to soccer player Jenni Hermoso.

The procedure in National audience It was opened in September 2023, after the footballer formalized her complaint to the Prosecutor’s Office about the actions of Rubiales, who, despite his initial reluctance, was forced to resign and has ended up disqualified by FIFA.

During the medal ceremony, after the victory of the Spanish team in the World Cup in Sydney, on August 20, Rubiales kissed Hermoso on the mouth, while holding his head with both hands.

With the ratification of Jenni Hermoso before the judge last week, the investigation of the case is expected to close. The player denied that the kiss was consensual and declared that she had felt pressured by Rubiales and her entourage to downplay the importance of the forced kiss. Rubiales He is accused of one crime of sexual assault and another of coercion. And he is not the only one investigated: so are the former coach Jorge Vildawho was dismissed from his position as coach of the women’s team; Albert Luque, director of the men’s team; and Ruben Riveramarketing manager of the Federation.

Now Judge Francisco de Jorge It must assess whether it has sufficient evidence to propose trying Rubiales and the rest of the accused.

On the other hand, the trial against the footballer Dani Alves for sexual assault. The former Barcelona player has been in prison since January 2023 and the Prosecutor’s Office is asking for nine years in prison for him.

At the doors of the trial, in recent days a video has been released with the aim of questioning the veracity of the victim’s complaint. The woman who was allegedly raped by Dani Alves has announced a complaint for the leak of her personal data on social networks. In recent days, several people close to the footballer, including his mother, have released a video with a montage to cast doubt on the victim’s credibility.

Rato, Camps and more ‘Gürtel’

The former managing director of International Monetary Fund Rodrigo Rato has returned to the dock, in a trial for the origin of his enormous assets that will last until next May. The Prosecutor’s Office is asking for 70 years in prison for the former vice president of the Aznar Government for defrauding the Treasury of 8.5 million euros and for the crimes of money laundering and business corruption.

Another former leader of the PP awaits sentencing. Francisco Campsformer president of the Valencian Generalitat, has recently been tried for one of the public contracts awarded to the plot Gürtel. The Prosecutor’s Office requests for Camps one year in prison and six years of disqualification for influence peddling and prevarication.

The trial for another piece of the Gürtel macrocausewhich refers to the plot of adjudications in the Madrid town of Arganda del Rey when the PP governed. There are 21 people investigated by a hiring network in the municipality between 1998 and 2009, headed by the former mayor Gines Lopez and the former PP deputy in Madrid Benjamin Martin Vasco.

Before, in the month of March, the former Madrid councilor Alfredo Prada will sit on the bench for the failed Justice Campus project.

Villarejo, in tow with ‘Tándem’

Recently inaugurated this year, a piece of the Tandem macrocause either Villarejo case has begun to be prosecuted. This is separate piece number 1, Kingin which the retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejobut one of his partners and colleagues in the National Police, the Commissioner Carlos Salamanca.

This Monday the oral hearing against the former commissioner of the Madrid-Barajas Airport Carlos Salamanca for allegedly facilitating the entry of Equatoguinean citizens into Spain in exchange for gifts provided by the businessman Francisco Menendez Rubio, linked to the national oil company of Equatorial Guinea, Gepetrol. The Prosecutor’s Office requests 10 years in prison for Salamanca.

Villarejo, for his part, has other pending court dates, such as, for example, the trial for Kitchen case, which is expected this year. It is also anticipated that other pieces of Tandem have just been instructed this year, such as that relating to work for BBVA.

The retired commissioner is also pending, outside Tandemof the investigation that accuses him of torturing an anti-Franco militant in 1975, in a case in which the Democratic Memory Prosecutor’s Office.

Villarejo’s conviction

Villarejo is also awaiting the resolution of his appeal against the sentence of 19 years in prison for the first three pieces of the Tandem case that were tried. The Prosecutor’s Office also appealed, although for very different reasons. While the retired commissioner asks for acquittal by insisting on the alleged nullity of the case, the Public Ministry rejects the acquittal of the bribery crime, common thread of the entire macrocause. The Prosecutor’s Office believes that the ruling of the Criminal Chamber of the National Court may influence the rest of the separate pieces in terms of their consideration of the crime of bribery.

In July 2023, the National Court sentenced retired commissioner Villarejo to 19 years in prison for crimes of revelation of secrets of company in the piece Iron and revelation of secrets of individuals in the piece Landin addition to falsity in commercial documentwhile he absolved him of bribery in both and extortion in the degree of conspiracy in the piece Painter. The Prosecutor’s Office requested 80 years in prison.

The sentence considers that it cannot be convicted of bribery since the acts carried out by Villarejo through his Cenyt business group “They were not carried out in the exercise of his position nor were they related to his public activities.”

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