Defense of ACA expoula prosecuted for embezzlement attempts to exclude key evidence

  • The prosecutor requests six years in prison for the awarding of consultancy reports by finger and “arbitrarily”

The defense of the excupula of the Catalan Water Agency (ACA) accused of alleged embezzlement of public funds Due to the award in 2008 to the finger of consulting reports, it required this Tuesday the court that judges it in the Barcelona Court to exclude from the process key evidence that supports the investigation, such as emails, documentation sent by the El Vendrell court that initiated the ‘case 3%’, minutes of the entity, among other documents. The lawyers also urged the annulment of the proceedings for alleged violations of fundamental rights and for other issues, such as the unconcretion of the accusations. The court will resolve these issues in judgment.

The prosecutor, who opposed all the demands of the lawyers, requests in his indictment six years in prison for the crimes of prevarication, embezzlement of public funds and disclosure of secrets against four high-ranking officials and technicians of the Catalan Agència del Aigua (ACA), among them the one who was its director Manuel Hernández, for the alleged awarding by hand in 2008, during the time of the tripartite government, of consulting reports. Two businessmen are involved in the plot, for whom the same penalty is claimed. One of them is Joan Lluís Quer, administrator of Auding and who had previously been manager of the ACA (2000-2004) and, later, during the executive of Artur Mas (CiU), held the presidency of the public company Infraestructures de la Generalitat .

Illicit profit

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The prosecution maintains that the defendants acted “with a preconceived plan” with “the obvious intention of seeking an illicit economic benefit”, favoring “their private interests.” The events date back to September 2007, when the ACA, which then depended on the Conselleria de Medi Ambient (led by Francesc Baltasar, from ICV), processed a consultancy contract for the drafting of the basin management plan through open competition fluvial in Catalonia. Before the publication of this tender, according to the indictment, senior officials of the agency met in a “reserved manner & rdquor; with the investigated entrepreneurs.

In the end, the contract for 3.75 million was awarded in January 2008 to the Temporary Union of Companies (UTE) DMA-Gestió, a group of engineering consultancies represented by Quer. The prosecution maintains that the director of the ACA, Manuel Hernández, signed it “arbitrarily & rdquor ;. In that contract it was specified that it was open to other complementary budgets, which in fact allowed the successful bidder to choose to offer them to other companies. And that happened. The defendants “constituted a formal device to mask an illicit profit & rdquor; in favor of the UTE, according to the prosecution, and the ACA formalized 38 contracts for additional work for 3.9 million euros. Minus three of them, the rest exceed 18,000 euros, limit for direct award.

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