Monday, August 03, 2009

El Molt Honorable Francisco Camps

They say there's a big party going on tonight down at the Tailor's Head pub in Valencia. The Valencian Supreme Court came to the rescue today of the region's president Francisco Camps by halting the case against him concerning his very fine clothes and the Gürtel corruption ring. The three man panel issuing the verdict was inevitably headed by the man whose relationship with Camps is so close that friendship is not a sufficient word to describe it. No doubt Camps will be out early tomorrow looking for a bigger dictionary to try and find the word he is looking for to explain his feelings for judge Juan Luis de la Rua, I think "saviour" might be a good starting point. Even so, an overwhelmingly conservative tribunal still split 2:1 on the decision meaning that De la Rua effectively had the casting vote. Just how close a friend of the accused do you have to be before you step down from hearing a case against them?

The reasons given by the judges are to say the least arguable, and the state prosecution service has already announced its intention to appeal to the national Supreme Court. It seems that one of the principal arguments for shelving the case has been the absence of a direct link between the gifts given to Camps and friends, and the contracts awarded to the company Orange Market. Apart from anything else this argument seems to open the floodgates to elected politicians receiving expensive presents from companies that work for their administrations; as if those gates really needed opening!

Most of all, however, the argument fails because the Valencian courts have so far refused to investigate any possible connection between the contracts awarded and tailor-made suits, expensive watches, circus tickets and so on. Indeed the decision on whether to accept the case referred to them from Madrid last week has been postponed until after today's verdict. Of course you never find evidence for something that you don't look for. Having found no case against those who were accused of accepting bribes, it now seems very unlikely that the same judges will proceed against those accused of paying them. It's all molt curious, if you'll pardon my Valencian.

Orange Market have made millions out of the Valencian government and many of these contracts were "troceado", a euphenism for slicing a contract into smaller pieces so that it can be awarded directly without having to go out for public tender. It's a device that is not just restricted to Valencia and which is almost always used to favour certain companies. We can now expect the traditional Christmas cestas full of goodies to be even more luxurious than normal in the Valencia region this year - perhaps it will be enough to kick start the economy? They could put a sticker on each pata negra ham saying "Approved by the Valencian Supreme Court". Meanwhile Mr Camps and company will carry on doing whatever suits them.


ejh said...

principal, not principle

Tom said...

Well I for one consider that I-ve seen justice done. We should never speak of this case again: Sr. Camps is, after all, the greatest and most honourable of all Spaniards.

Graeme said...


Corrected, I've also renewed my annual subscription with Illiterates for a Better Wurld.


It's about time someone stood up in defence of the justice system, otherwise we'll all end up like those anti-system people from the PP. I'm going to make my own personal contribution by limiting myself to a maximum of 4 posts per week about Gürtel.