Alaya reabre la adjudicación de Aznalcollar para investigar al presidente de la SEPI

Two young men in the Aznalcóllar mine / ANTONIO PIZARRO

Automated tanslation from Spanish into English of the article on (October 1, 2019): 

Alaya reopens the award of Aznalcóllar to investigate the president of SEPI

"The provisional classification as arbitrary" of the Board´s resolutions has not been distorted.

The Administration was aware of the "gross and gross illegality" of the companies awarded the contract.

The Audience of Seville, in a presentation by Judge Mercedes Alaya, has reopened the judicial case for the award of the Aznalcóllar Mine and has ordered that Vicente Fernández Guerrero, current president of the Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI) and then secretary general of the General Directorate of Industry of the Board, declare as investigated.

In an order to which this newspaper has had access, Alaya indicates that what was done by the examining magistrate´s court 3 of Seville after the first revocation of the provisional dismissal, in October 2016, "has not gone so far as to distort the provisional qualification as arbitrary of the resolutions of the Junta de Andalucía relating to the competition for the award of mining rights of the Aznalcóllar mine".

"It is evident that Grupo Mexico, as a bidder, did not comply with the legally essential requirements to move to the second phase regarding the accreditation of its legal personality and capacity to act," says the order of the Seventh Section, which orders that the businessmen Isidro and Mario Lopez Magdaleno and Vicente Fernandez be declared as investigated.

It also requests that the Junta de Andalucía be informed through the UCO of the positions held by the members of the Contracting Committee and the Technical Commission three months before starting the bidding procedure and the positions they held after it, specifying the dates of promotion.

This same diligence "is advisable to be practiced with respect to the former secretary of the Department of Innovation Vicente Fernandez Guerrero.

The promotions of these people "could constitute evidence of a crime of bribery" because "could be considered a reward for the illegal acts allegedly performed.

The court fully upheld the appeal filed by Emerita Resources, who lost the contest and denounced a possible misappropriation crime for "the unlawful choice of the offer of Minorbis-Grupo Mexico, which did not meet the requirements of the rules of the contest and was also less economically profitable for the public coffers.

Crimes of prevarication, embezzlement, bribery and influence peddling

Along with the alleged crimes of prevarication, embezzlement and bribery, the Court points out that another possible crime of influence peddling should be investigated by studying the emails between Vicente Fernandez and representatives of Minorbis. From them, "an excellent personal relationship between both parties can be inferred by means of emails sent and answered even on Saturdays and Sundays at unseemly hours".

In these emails would expose the request by entrepreneurs to Vicente Fernandez of its intermediation in administrative matters for the business projects of the company, as well as a trip of several days of all of them, along with "a person of the intimate circle" of Fernandez.

"The gross and gross illegality" committed by the companies that were constituted for the award "found its adequate complement, in the first place, in the perfect knowledge that the Administration had from the beginning, through the Memorandum of Understanding, which established that even if Minorbis won the award was going to be accepted by a different company controlled by Grupo Mexico.

The court order recalls that Minorbis was an entity created on March 19, 2014, less than a month before submitting its application to participate in the contest and without any experience in mining activity and the terms of the contest established the need for bidders to have experience.

Faced with its "null experience", its rival Emerita accredited "up to five research permits in different mining areas".

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