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Gürtel case

Supreme Court upholds former Valencia premier’s not-guilty graft verdict

A jury had absolved Camps and Costa of accepting items of clothing from Gürtel corruption ring in exchange for public contracts

The Supreme Court on Tuesday confirmed the controversial absolution of former Valencia Popular Party premier Francisco Camps and his right-hand man in the region, Ricardo Costa, who were declared not guilty of accepting bribes by a public jury in a trial held in January of last year.

The court ruled by four votes to one to upheld a five-to-four split decision by that jury to find the two not guilty of accepting 22 items of clothing as bribes from Álvaro Pérez, a key figure in the Gürtel kickbacks-for-contracts corruption ring. The Valencia government had awarded the ring eight million euros in contracts without them being submitted to public tender.

Camps resigned in July 2011, complaining he had been the victim of a campaign against him. Costa, a PP deputy in the regional assembly, also resigned.

The case against Camps and Costa was initially shelved in August 2009 by a Valencia court presided by Juan Luis de la Rúa, a personal friend of the former premier. It was subsequently reopened by the Supreme Court in May 2010 after it found indications of possible wrongdoing by the two.

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