Judge Luz Casañas Cabrera, head of the court of instruction number 5 of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, opens an investigation by observing signs of corruption – prevarication and embezzlement of public funds – in the purchase by the Council of Tenerife of two fields of the sports city of CD Tenerife in 2012. The magistrate thus admits the complaint filed in January by the Prosecutor’s Office against Julius Perez (PSOE), spokesperson for the Government of the Canary Islands and Minister of Justice and Security, and the other eight directors of the public company Parque Ciencia y Tecnológico de Tenerife (PCTT), of the Tenerife Council, who approved the real estate operation. Among them are two former presidents of the Island Corporation, Ricardo Melchior and Carlos Alonso (both from the Canarian Coalition); and the General Director of Road Infrastructure of the Government of the Canary Islands, José Luis Delgado (PSOE).
Ricardo Melchior (CC)
Former President of the Cabildo
He participated in the four boards of directors that approved the purchase of the plots of the sports city of CD Tenerife.
The judge points out, in the order by which she opens the judicial proceedings, the possible criminal nature of an operation that dates back 10 years, when these representatives of the Cabildo company approved in four councils the acquisition with public money –18.9 million– of the two lots of the sports city of Geneto, in The lagoon30,700 square meters, under the pretext of building a technology center there. Luz Casañas, who has taken over the Genetic case After disqualifying the Investigation Court 3 of La Laguna, in which the Public Ministry presented its complaint, it states that the purchase “is not justified from the point of view of suitability” since it was approved when it was already known that these lands were not going to be host the science center, but rather that it was going to be built –in fact it is being built at the moment– in Cuevas Blancas, Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Jose Luis Delgado (PSOE)
The general director of Road Infrastructure of the Canary Islands was an insular councilor of the Cabildo when he voted in favor.
In addition, Luz Casañas considers that the Geneto case breaches the Public Administration Assets Law because the price “does not correspond to the market price”. As detailed by the Prosecutor’s Office in its complaint, now admitted by the judge, The Cabildo bought this land at a price higher than the real one, based on an appraisal that used prices from urban areas in the center of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, when the 30,700 square meters on which this case revolves are located in Geneto, on the outskirts of La Laguna, a much cheaper area. This appraisal, adds the magistrate, would also have “expired at the time of being granted.” The operation, according to the judge, “would have caused serious economic damage” to the Science and Technology Park that “would have led it to a situation of financial imbalance and to require the contribution of external resources.” Even today, the Cabildo continues to transfer important public funds to this public company to guarantee its operation.
Sergio Alonso (CC)
Councilor of La Laguna
He attended one of the boards of directors as managing director of Fundación Empresa of the University of La Laguna.
Julio Pérez was deputy mayor of the Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council, which he represented as director of the Science and Technology Park, managed by the Cabildo with representation from other administrations and local entities. The Minister of Justice voted in favor in one of the boards of directors of the urban development operation that is now under the Justice magnifying glass. The nationalists Ricardo Melchior, as president of the Cabildo, and Carlos Alonso, as counselor of Economy, did so in the four that make up the case and supported the sale from the beginning, and the other socialist, José Luis Delgado, in two councils as counselor Island of Highways.
Antonio Marichal (CC)
Former Councilor of the Cabildo
The former councilor of the Cabildo participated in two of the Technological Park councils that approved the Geneto operation.
They also appear as denounced, in the order of the head of the trial court number 5 of Santa Cruz, and for the same crimes of prevarication -approve resolutions knowing that they are unfair- and embezzlement -unfair or improper administration of public resources- the former councilors of the Cabildo Antonio García Marichal (CC) and María del Pino León (CC); and the councilor of La Laguna Sergio Alonso (CC, brother of Carlos Alonso), who represented the Business Foundation of the University of La Laguna on one of the boards of directors investigated. The list of defendants is completed with the former insular director of Innovation, Juan Antonio Núñez; the former director of the Starlight Foundation, Luis Antonio Martínez; and the only one of the 10 accused who was not a director, the lawyer for the Science and Technology Park, José Luis Luengo, who endorsed the legality of the procedure followed in this urban development operation.
Mª del Pino Leon (CC)
Former Councilor of the Cabildo
He participated in two of the boards of directors of Parque Tecnológico that approved the purchase.
The complaint that led to the opening of this investigation –from the Prosecutor’s Office of the Provincial Court, which is headed by the prosecutor in the Las Teresitas case, María Farnes–, It is based in turn on a report submitted to the justice by the current government of the Cabildo de Tenerife, formed by PSOE and Ciudadanos with the external support Sí Podemos. On October 9, 2020, Antonio Messía de Yraola, general comptroller of the Cabildo, signs a document denouncing “an impairment of public funds” in this complex and intricate operation by which the Cabildo bought the land of the sports city of CD Tenerife . The auditor sees indications to act against those responsible for this sale for assuming an “irregular use of public funds.”
Julio Perez (PSOE)
Counselor of Justice
He represented the Santa Cruz City Council as deputy mayor when in 2012 he voted in favor in one of the councils.
The auditor’s brief, which draws on previous ones from the Science and Technology Park, warns of a succession of irregularities in the operation constituting the crimes of unfair administration, prevarication, embezzlement and accounting responsibility. The Prosecutor’s Office supports the main conclusions of the Messía report in its complaint but limits the crimes to prevarication and embezzlement and does not highlight in its conclusions a relevant point of those of the insular inspector: the land would have been bought for a value five times higher than the real one. The judge now supports the conclusions of the prosecutor Domingo González.
Carlos Alonso (CC)
Former President of the Cabildo
He was the Councilor for the Economy of the Cabildo and was on the four boards of directors that approved the operation.
Yes, both writings coincide – that of the auditor and the Prosecutor’s Office – in that the sale went beyond the public interest. Prosecutor Domingo González underlined in his complaint that “it meant the departure of a large amount of public money from the public sector destined for CD Tenerife SAD, which was a private entity [y lo sigue siendo], and to the West African company NAP Islas Canarias SA, whose capital, at the time, belonged 50% to the Institute of Renewable Energies (ITER, a public entity of the Cabildo) and another 50% to businessmen from the Island». They are the two entities from which the Cabildo bought the land for 19 million euros.
For the investigation of the investigated facts, the judge requests the practice of the procedures requested by the public ministry: the complete administrative file, the documentation of the loan that CajaCanarias granted to the NAP company so that it could buy one of the lands that it later sold to the Cabildo , copies of the contracts and resolutions that led to the operation, documentation on the role played by CD Tenerifethe report that argued that Geneto lands did not meet the characteristics for the function for which they were purchased – to house a technology center – and the resolution approving that this facility be located in Cuevas Blancas and not in Genetoprior to the execution of the sale.
The other justification used to carry out this operation was to save CD Tenerife from the precarious economic situation in which it was then, with a millionaire debt.
The other 3 reported
The list of 10 denounced for approving the purchase in 2012 of two plots of land in the sports city of CD Tenerife by the Cabildo de Tenerife are the former insular director of Innovation, Juan Antonio Núñez; the former director of the Starlight Foundation, Luis Antonio Martínez; and the lawyer of the Science and Technology Park, José Luis Luengo. The Technological Park councils that approved the operation were held in 2011 and 2012.