THE former chief of the National Police in Ronda claims that he was accused in the police corruption case because people wanted to “bring him down”.
Nine people are accused in the case which is currently being tried in Malaga. They include three other National Police officers and a Guardia Civil. The hearing was initially planned in March last year but was suspended after the defence for one of the accused asked to know the identity of some of the protected witnesses to carry out tests.
This was agreed, but the trial was postponed on two other occasions. There are 60 witnesses, many whose identities are protected. Malaga Public Prosecutor is asking for a total of 39 years for the five officers who allegedly failed to investigate prostitution and drugs sales at brothels in the area from which they are accused of demanding money and sex in exchange for not going ahead with deportation orders for the illegal immigrants working there between 2003 and 2007.
Three club managers were charged with prostitution, and another man who allegedly accompanied the officer with influence peddling. He is said to have boasted about his relationship with the police and an affair with the local judge.
The Internal Affairs investigation led to the arrests of the officers and the other people between February and May 2007. The former National Police chief visited the brothels and, like the others, allegedly had drinks and sexual favours which he never paid for, and was also accused of helping an illegal immigrant who worked in a care home in exchange for sex.
The prosecution believes that another one of the National Police rented a house to one of the brothel owners for the girls to stay in and tipped them off about possible raids. The former police chief claims in court that the whole case is a set-up organized by people he had arrested or had problems with in the past, including other officers, and says he never failed in his duty, nor abused his position to obtain sex or anything else.
He does admit to having had a consenting relationship with a protected witness who he claims demanded money from him and went to his wife after they split up. He says he regrets this, but that it was the only thing he has done wrong.
Photo credit: HENRY SCOTT