Former Valencia parliament speaker to face Gürtel trial

Eleven other PP officials and bribery-ring businessmen also due to take stand on influence-peddling and embezzlement charges

Two ex-officials from the former regional government of Francisco Camps in Valencia were ordered on Monday to stand trial on charges of bid-rigging in favor of the Gürtel network of corrupt businessmen.

Milagrosa Martínez and Angélica Such both still serve as Popular Party (PP) deputies in the regional parliament. Martínez, who was referred to by Gürtel suspects as "la perla," at one time served as parliamentary speaker.

Martínez and Such face up to 11 and 10 years in jail, respectively, if they are convicted. A judge has charged them with embezzling public money and influence peddling. Also going to trial are five workers from the Valencia regional tourism office and six members of the Gürtel ring, including leader Francisco Correa and his Valencia contact, Álvaro Pérez.

Francisco Camps was last year acquitted by a jury of accepting bribes from the Gürtel network while he served as regional premier in Valencia. The conservative had already resigned from his post when the accusations surfaced.


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