Hospitalet mayor Núria Marín cleared in Sports Council case
The court accepts there is not sufficient evidence to uphold accusations
BarcelonaL'Hospitalet de Llobregat's Court of Instruction number 2 has closed the investigation into the city's mayor, Núria Marín, El Periódico has reported and ARA has confirmed. She was accused of diverting funds from the local Sports Council, but the judge has accepted the Prosecutor's Office's request admitting there is insufficient evidence. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office had already asked the court to dismiss the case because it had found no proof Marín may have acted illegally.
This is the position Marín herself defended before the judge. The socialist mayor, who is also president of the Barcelona Provincial Council and vice president of the Catalan Socialists' Party (PSC), testified last April and claimed that she did not remain passive when a councillor alerted her of possible anomalies in the Sports Council. This councillor was Jaume Graells, who denounced the case and is now running as a Republican Left of Catalonia (ERC) candidate for Hospitalet city council. Although Marin claims that after the councillor's revelations she ordered an audit and met with the affected councillors, Graells says he had to insist and after seeing no decision was taken after three weeks he decided to file a complaint with the National Police. However, the audit the council hired was not completed because the police officers raided the council's office to search and seize information. Before the case was closed, Marín was charged with alleged crimes of embezzlement of public funds, misfeasance and failure to prosecute crimes.
Some officials investigated in the case over the alleged diversion of funds that affects the socialist mayor have admitted today to the court that they did not check the veracity of the organisation's accounts, although they had been entrusted to supervise them. They explained they simply signed the documents given to them by the last two directors of the Sports Council, Cristóbal Plaza – who resigned as a PSC councillor last December – and Eduard Galí