EVEN in an English-language newspaper, few weeks go by without mention of Alicante property developer and businessman Enrique Ortiz.
Involved in the Gurtel and Brugal corruption cases, he astounded supporters and critics alike by admitting that in 2008 he illegally financed the Partido Popular (PP) to the tune of €348,115.
The confession came before Ortiz stands trial in Valencia along with five high-ranking politicians from the regional PP and 10 businessmen. They are accused of involvement in the Gurtel case’s labyrinth of bribes, kickbacks, illegal commissions and illicit party funding for Ortiz and face a four-year prison sentence if convicted.
Ortiz, who owns 70 per cent of Alicante City’s zoned building land, has done what no other businessman has yet done and admitted that he made an irregular payment to the PP. Spain’s electoral laws bar all government contractors – which Ortiz was – from financing election campaigns and veto donations of more than €6,012 from any source.
By confessing now, Ortiz hoped that the Public Prosecutor would reduce the recommended term to 15 months which could then be substituted with a fine.
The Public Prosecution department has now agreed and, according to informed sources, expects “an avalanche” of confessions from practically all of the businessmen due to stand trial with Ortiz.