SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Jan. 16 (EUROPA PRESS) –
‘Justice and Society’, popular accusation in the Las Teresitas case, has ensured that the recent reform of the Penal Code will not affect the politicians, businessmen and civil servants convicted of the aforementioned case, in which the Santa Cruz City Council bought the front of the beach for 52.5 million euros, when the appraisal price was 19 million and despite the fact that part of the land already belonged to the Consistory itself.
The popular prosecution wanted to recall in a statement that the former mayor of Santa Cruz, Miguel Zerolo, and the former councilor for Urban Planning, Manuel Parejo, were convicted as perpetrators of a crime of embezzlement and another of prevarication by allowing with this operation that the businessmen Antonio Plasencia and Ignacio González, through Inversiones Las Teresitas, SL (ILT), appropriated public patrimony concurring in them “an obvious profit motive”. Plasencia and González were convicted of those same crimes as necessary collaborators, as were officials Juan Víctor Reyes and José Tomás Martín.
As pointed out by Justice and Security, after the latest reform of the Penal Code, the same penalties are maintained for those who “appropriate for profit or consent to a third party, with the same intention, appropriating public property (…)” ( article 432 PC). In the Las Teresitas case, the private prosecution clarifies that both the appropriation of public assets and the profit motive are evident “unless it is now argued that ILT was an NGO and the businessmen Plasencia and González were cooperating volunteers with a missionary vocation”. .
They consider it necessary to remember, in addition, that in the Las Teresitas operation, described by the Prosecutor’s Office as a “manual hit”, the Santa Cruz City Council bought the beach front for 52 million euros when its appraised value did not exceed 20 million ; part of the beachfront plots had already been acquired by the City Council under previous agreements (it was paid for land that was already municipally owned); part of the parcels of the beach front were in the public maritime-terrestrial domain or affected by its protection easement (it was paid for part of the land that was already public); urban developments from the beach front were transferred to Valle de Las Huertas (owned by ILT – Plasencia y González) without valuing them; The rear part (owned by ILT – Plasencia y González) was reclassified from tourist use, whose development was no longer legally viable, to residential, thereby generating high capital gains that were not valued either.
Justicia y Sociedad points out that with this reform of the Criminal Code two attenuated subtypes have been created (arts. 432 bis and 433) establishing reduced penalties for those who, on the one hand, without the intention of appropriation, allocate public goods for private use that have office; and, on the other, for those who give to the public patrimony that manage a public application different from the one foreseen. And it clarifies that none of these modalities of embezzlement by “distraction” are applicable to the Las Teresitas case in which the embezzlement committed was by “appropriation”.
The popular prosecution has announced that it will oppose any request for a review of the sentences requested by the defense of the convicted and recalls that the process of reviewing sentences does not allow a new assessment of the evidence, nor does it affect facts already declared proven in sentence by the Provincial Court, and confirmed in cassation by the Supreme Court.