CORRUPTION IN COURT

Fabra case judge turns to judicial watchdog for protection

Castellón High Court is pressuring for dismissal after eight years of legal delays, magistrate claims

Castellón -
Castellón PP chief Carlos Fabra.
Castellón PP chief Carlos Fabra.ANGEL SANCHEZ (EL PAÍS)

The judge presiding the bribery investigation against Castellón Popular Party president Carlos Fabra has made the unusual step of seeking the protection of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) from pressure placed upon him by the province's high court to drop the case.

Judge Jacobo Pin of Nules court, who has headed the Fabra case for the last three of the eight years over which it has stretched, has decided to appeal to Spain's legal watchdog for help after seeing how the Castellón Provincial High Court, which is presided by Carlos Domínguez, has tried to refute his decisions and "disturb my independence."

Judge Pin says the court is "trying to indirectly impose the dismissal of the alleged crime of bribery" of which Fabra is accused. At present, Fabra is under investigation on alleged counts of influence-peddling, bribery and tax fraud. "I am conscious that it may seem unusual for a member of the judiciary to turn to the Council for protection from a higher judicial body, but it is evident that the present disruption of my independence, which ought to supervise my conduct, is no mere jurisdictional matter," Pin said in the ruling in which he asked for protection.

It was in December 2003 that Fabra was accused by a businessman of receiving million-euro sums in exchange for political favors. He and his wife María Amparo Fernández are also accused of embezzling some 1.2 million euros.

The friendship between Fabra and the provincial court president Domínguez has been called into question.

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