By Oisin Sweeney • 11 December 2020 • 10:55
THE SOCIALIST’S Party of Catalonia (PSC) has been rocked by a corruption scandal, with the mayor of L’Hospitalet quizzed by detectives on Thursday.
Nuria Marin, who has been mayor of Catalonia’s second-largest city for 12 years, was grilled for two hours on Thursday morning by economic crime investigators over a scandal involving L’Hospitalet’s Municipal Sports Council.
Six months ago her deputy, Jaume Graells, resigned after accusing Murin of turning a blind eye to his complaints of corruption. He reported his allegations of the Sports Council participating in embezzlement and influence peddling to police, who are now investigating. Two PSC councilors and the Sports Council’s director were arrested and are now under investigation for serious corruption offenses.
Another dozen sports officials in the city, which lies directly south of Barcelona, are among the accused. Police suspect that up to 400,000 euro in public funds, allocated for sports projects, was embezzled by the group using ”parallel” accounting. This entails hiding discrepancies by burying stolen funds in bigger accounts.
In a press conference, Marín denied her involvement in any corruption conspiracy, claiming that the Sports Council operates separately from the Town Hall. She pledged to ask the case’s judge for permission to testify, to clear her name, and salvage the reputation of her party in the Barcelona metro area.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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