The Supreme Court has given itself until mid-September to issue the final verdict case of the ERE of Andalusia, in which the Trial Chamber must decide whether to uphold the sentences passed by the Provincial Court of Seville against former Andalusian Presidents Manuel Caves and José Antonio Griñán. The Trial Chamber this Wednesday announced an extension of 60 days for the delivery of the sentence, counting from May 23 last year, “due to the complexity of the case”, which, apart from the weekends and the month of August, is not a business day – urgent judicial action― would extend the deadline to mid-September. However, the intention of the room is not to exhaust this extension and announce the decision of the ERE in the coming weeks, according to the sources consulted.
The judgment of the ERE is one of the most far-reaching resources available to the Trial Chamber to decide, both because of the number of applicants (19 convicts and two charges including the prosecution) and because of the length of the briefs submitted by each part. The Criminal Procedure Act provides a period of 10 days to issue a verdict from the hearing, which took place on May 4-5 in this case. However, this ceiling is extendable, and the Supreme Court usually makes use of this option, particularly on the most complex appeals reaching the Trial Chamber. For this reason, the Supreme Court has claimed to extend by 60 days the deadline for handing down the verdict on fraud in the Junta de Andalucía’s Social Welfare and Labor Assistance between the years 2000 and 2009. “Given the complexity of the case, taking into account the number of complainants and the reasons formulated, it is necessary to agree on an extension of the period for sentencing, ”says the order communicated by the court this Wednesday.
The extension was taken for granted, as otherwise the Supreme Court would have had to deliver the verdict in May, an option the sources consulted ruled out before the hearing. The car for which the term extension is agreed is from May 23, but has not yet been announced. However, the court intends to issue the ruling in the coming weeks without rushing the deadline for that extension. Although the Trial Chamber has occasionally requested extensions of several months for the most complex appeals (the review of the Malayan case on urban corruption in Marbella, for example, lasted a year), legal sources indicate that the ERE case has been expedited because the rapporteur, Judge Eduardo de Porres, is freed from other matters to focus on and the five judges doing this of the court examining the case – in addition to De Porres, judges Juan Ramón Berdugo (President), Ana María Ferrer, Carmen Lamela and Susana Polo meet regularly.
The Supreme Court has received the appeals of the 19 convicted (the main defendant, Javier Guerrero, died in 2020, although his family is present in person), all former senior officials of the Andalusian board of directors. Nine of them, including Griñán, are being tried in the Supreme Court with sentences ranging from six to eight years. The former Andalusian president is sentenced to six years in prison for a crime of embezzlement, allegedly committed during his time as economy and finance minister, when the board, as proven by the Seville Provincial Court, distributed 680 million euros without control to companies in the crisis to ensure “social peace”. At last May’s Supreme Court hearing, Griñán’s lawyer at the Supreme Court argued that the Seville Court’s ruling revealed “not a single irregularity” by the then-counsel, which is why he asked the Supreme Court to set aside the omission. Four other former socialist city councilors are sentenced to prison terms for the same crime: Antonio Fernández and José Antonio Viera (labour law), Francisco Vallejo (innovation) and Carmen Martínez Aguayo (economy). Former President Chaves is considering a nine-year disqualification sentence for subterfuge, the same crime the court attributed to former councilors Gaspar Zarías (Presidency) and Magdalena Álvarez (Treasury), among others.
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