THE alleged mastermind behind the ring of council corruption in Marbella has told a court that the regional government knew of his dealings with housing developers.
Juan Antonio Roca, the former urban chief of the Costa del Sol resort’s council, is alleged to have accepted bribes in exchange for favourable planning decisions.
Roca’s defence told Malaya investigating judge, Miguel Angel Torres, the Junta de Andalucía was aware of the building agreements signed by housing developers and Marbella Town Hall.
However, Torres has dismissed the claims, stating the regional government had never given its consent to the resort town’s modified PGOU urban expansion plan.
“On many occasions, the council of Marbella awarded construction licenses without the PGOU having the approval of the Junta de Andalucía,” he said.
The judge, who is now working in Granada after his two-year investigation came to a close, also dismissed claims by Roca’s defence that their client had no knowledge of council bribery.
“Roca was the person who acted in the shadows, who involved himself in town planning to further his own needs, with whom the housing developers had to deal,” Torres added.
Eighty two people have been charged with bribery and money laundering following the two-year probe into Marbella council corruption.
Meanwhile, the new council of Marbella and the regional government are set to thrash out a deal that could see more than 500 illegal homes legalised.
A September meeting between the town hall and the public works department of the Junta has been scheduled to change the legality of 561 homes built without the correct licensing during the GIL party era.
Alba Echevarría, the new urban planning chief in the Costa del Sol town, said the council “was confident a deal could be struck with the Junta.”