Prosecutor calls for tough ruling in Marbella graft case

Roca’s “Malaya” trial coming to a close six years later

Juan Carlos López Caballero, the public anti-corruption prosecutor heading the so-called "Malaya" case, has called for an "exemplary sentence" to be handed down.

Caballero stated that the denouement of the Malaya case, the biggest corruption scandal to ever emerge in Spain, did not signal "a full stop" in investigations into municipal wrongdoings in Marbella and Málaga province as a whole. "This is not the end, and I say this with sadness. We cannot allow this behavior, which for the first time in the democratic era led to the dissolution of a city council, to be repeated."

The case, which broke in 2006, features a who's who of Marbella society including two former mayors, a slew of town officials and the famed popular singer Isabel Pantoja. The sheer volume of charges brought against almost 100 defendants meant the proceedings had to be split into separate parts. The trial currently in progress centers on former Marbella urban planning chief Juan Antonio Roca, who admitted to buying winning lottery tickets to avoid paying taxes on money stashed at his house, and to paying bribes to ex-Mayor Marisol Yagüe to keep her political team in check over a motion of censure against another former mayor, Julián Muñoz.

Roca's defense team has called for the trial to be quashed due to irregularities during the investigation. Roca's lawyer, Rocío Amigo, cited a "fundamental breach of rights" over police surveillance of her client, accused the presiding judge of impartiality and pointed to a "parallel trial" resulting from the decision to televise the judicial proceedings.

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