Ramón Trujillo, spokesman for Unidas Podemos in the Santa Cruz de Tenerife City Council, has accused the Santa Cruz de Tenerife Provincial Prosecutor’s Office of trying to prevent an economic-financial expert test from the accounts of Sacyr-Emmasa, the mixed company that manages the water in the municipality.
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The purple formation considers that this evidence is “fundamental to determine the effects of the allegedly criminal collection of 33.6 million euros” by the multinational Sacyr and recalls that “without expert evidence there would have been no convictions in the case Las Teresitas, so the same could happen in the Sacyr case”.
Last December 2022, Sacyr began the return to the capital city of the 33 million euros that it improperly obtained between 2007 and 2021 after Emmasa decided to return without any justification the 56 million euro canon that the company private company paid in 2006 to take over the management of the water service of Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
On September 26, 2022, Sacyr and Emmasa signed an agreement for the return of those 33.6 million over the next ten years, improperly returned from the public company to the private one, but in the agreement there was a clause that benefited the company: the reimbursement of the money was linked to the water rate for the neighbors is raised.
The letter of the Prosecutor’s Office of last April 27, maintained that there is a “material impossibility of carrying out the expert opinion” because its realization was refused by the General State Intervention, the General Intervention of the Autonomous Community and, finally , by the Official College of Secretaries, Auditors and Treasurers of the Local Administration of Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Of course, Trujillo affirms, there is no “material impossibility” to carry out the opinion because the required documentation is perfectly preserved.
Likewise, for the municipal progressive spokesperson, it is also very worrying that the Prosecutor’s Office “has not deigned to intervene” in the interrogations of defendants and witnesses in a case “that represented no less than an income of 33.6 million euros from of the company awarded the privatization of water in Santa Cruz de Tenerife”.
For its part, on May 23, the Court issued an order assuming the thesis of the Prosecutor’s Office and annulled the test procedure. Ramón Trujillo, the councilor for Unidas Podemos who exercises the popular action, has appealed that order, arguing that the improper payment to Sacyr did not allow, or reduced, the generation of benefits and the remuneration of the minority partner, that is, the City Council. And, in addition, the alteration produced in the accounts would have “justified” requests for revision of tariffs, with the consequent increase in prices for citizens, to guarantee the restoration of economic balance.
Likewise, the expert evidence must determine the existence of Sacyr’s right to recover 59 million euros, which it had paid as the price of the 25-year water cycle concession. It must also clarify whether the reflection of this return complies with accounting standards, specify the economic damage caused and determine the causes of the economic imbalances alleged by Emmasa. This is essential information to determine whether or not the facts have criminal relevance. Therefore, not carrying out the expert evidence would predictably lead to the case being archived.
The appeal presented, on May 31, by Unidas Podemos, questions the “material impossibility” of carrying out the expert test due to the refusals of the three institutions consulted, which have alleged formal legal reasons for not carrying out the test. The training considers that the expert evidence could be carried out given that the accounting documentation is available and, likewise, there are qualified personnel to carry it out and legal mechanisms for the judge to order collaboration with the Justice.