The court of the trial against Camps, presided over by magistrate José Antonio Mora (center), this Wednesday.
The tension in the trial against Francisco Camps, former president of the Generalitat Valenciana (2003-2011), has marked a new peak this Wednesday. During the 21st session of the oral hearing, which has been taking place in the National Court since January, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office has openly clashed with the court. After weeks of protests by the prosecution for holding the interrogations of many witnesses by videoconference, the Public Prosecutor's Office has finally denounced that it is not being "allowed to make full use of the evidence" and that "obstacles" are placed in its functions. "The bankruptcy of the principle of equality [of arms] in this procedure is more than evident," said prosecutor Concepción Nicolás during a new clash with the president of the court, José Antonio Mora.
The tension between the magistrates and the Public Prosecutor's Office had intensified in recent days. Following the strike of officials of the Administration of Justice, which has forced to suspend the trial of Camps on four occasions, the court decided that a good part of the witnesses testify by videoconference, to avoid that they travel to Madrid unnecessarily. However, the Prosecutor's Office has considered that this option does not offer all the procedural guarantees – there have been difficulties in showing them documents clearly – and has shown its misgivings about the possibility that they are being contaminated in some way. "Has anyone spoken to you before today about this issue?" prosecutors asked several witnesses. Anti-corruption had also protested to Mora for not letting him ask some questions, which the judge considered inappropriate.
The National Court estimates that Camps' sentence will not be issued until at least November
But the clash has escalated to a higher level on Wednesday, while Concepción Nicolás asked Inmaculada Guaita, former head of the public company Society of Thematic Projects of the Valencian Community and former deputy of the PP in Congress. At one point during the interrogation, the prosecutor began to look at her phone and the president of the court snapped: "Please, does the prosecution want to stop using the mobile phone during the interrogation? [...] You don't have to look at it now." To which the representative of Anticorruption has said: "I am going to look for an article [of the Criminal Procedure Law] to refer to it literally because I do not know it by heart [...] I don't have a network [on my computer] to look up Article 730. But your lordship forbids me..."
Concepción Nicolás, prosecutor of the 'Gürtel case', during Wednesday's session of the trial against Camps.
The exchange of reproaches has led, finally, to the Prosecutor's Office has denounced that it is prevented from carrying out its work properly. "The breach of the principle of equality [of arms] in this procedure is more than evident," said Concepción Nicolás, who has accused the court of putting "obstacles" that aggravate "the situation for the exercise" of its "faculties" as a public accusation. Judge Mora replied: "The principle of equality has nothing to do with the issue of you using your mobile phone during interrogation."
In this trial, whose sentence is not expected before November, 26 people sit on the bench of the accused, as alleged responsible for the landing of the Gürtel plot in the Valencian Administration. Among others, Francisco Camps. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office asks for two and a half years in prison for the former president of the Generalitat for allegedly maneuvering in favor of the corrupt network to award him contracts, after having helped the plot itself to enter the community due to his friendship with Álvaro Pérez, alias El Bigotes, a man of confidence of the leader of Gürtel, Francisco Correa.
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