14 Jul, 2010 @ 12:11
1 min read

Take a bung, m’lud?

HALF the Spanish population believes that with enough money it is possible to escape justice.

One in two people (48 per cent) questioned think that judges can be bribed with the right amount of money.

A further 60 per cent of Spaniards believe that the justice system is antiquated and works ‘badly’…at best.
The new figures come as Marbella judge Francisco Javier de Urquia was sentenced to two years in prison.

The 41-year-old judge was also fined 140,000 euros after being found guilty of accepting a 60,000 euro bribe in return for dropping charges against three businessmen in the Hidalgo money laundering case.

It is the second time he has been found guilty, after being suspended two years ago for taking a bribe over an illegal development.

The recent study by the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) clearly outlined the broken justice system in Spain.

It believes some of the problems could be solved by selecting older judges with more experience.

“We also need to apply mental health criteria for potential judges to detect anomalies as soon as possible,” added a spokesman.

The findings came just a month after Granada judge Adelina Entrena was sacked after leaving an innocent suspect in jail for 437 days after forgetting to sign release forms.

Another judge ordered the arrest of a perfume shop owner when her request for a refund was not granted, while in Alicante, one judge simply refuses to sanction same-sex marriages, despite it being law.

Jon Clarke (Publisher & Editor)

Jon Clarke is a Londoner who worked at the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday as an investigative journalist before moving permanently to Spain in 2003 where he helped set up the Olive Press. He is the author of three books; Costa Killer, Dining Secrets of Andalucia and My Search for Madeleine.

Do you have a story? Contact newsdesk@theolivepress.es


  1. Exactly Fred,
    and it is’nt just Andalucia.

    Out jogging one day in Galicia and having to do a somersault from the bonnet of a car that would have killed me. It was driven by a young woman who was chattering to her mother I could clearly see this as the car hurtled towards me. I did a perfect somersault (first in my life) up and over a bridge, must have been about 6 metres in total, came down straight, my chin missing the parapet of the bridge by a whisker (certain death if that had happened)I only broke 3 ribs on a large rugby shaped rock.

    She was well connected and came into my hospital room uninvited 2 days later to tell me that it was’nt worth making a claim as she was ‘enchufargo’.

    When nothing appeared to be happening I went to my local court where the claim would be heard only to be verbally abused by the judge that was going to be hearing the case, him screaming (literally) at me to GET OUT.

    The young woman concerned faced no charges and I received no compensation and indeed her insurance company Zurich asked and was given medical records of mine without any permission being sought from me – European data protection act – don’t make me laugh.

    In Andalucia I confronted two of the theives of our 3 dogs that were stolen. I went to the Guardia who thought the armed confrontation was a joke. They tipped off the would be agressors to come in and make a denuncia against me first (this carries a lot of weight in Spain) and refused to accept mine until they had.

    It went to court where the woman judge ranted against the two thugs for over 2 minutes at the end of the preceedings. I asked the interpreter what happens next, she replied “they will be sentenced later”.

    2 months later I get a letter to go to the Court where I learn that I am the guilty party – the weapons of the two would be assailants have ‘disappeared’ entirely from the proceedings and an uncut piece of olive wood that I was going to make into a walking stick has become a spear and a 13cm knife of mine has become a machete.

    It takes a lot to shock me at my age but you really couldnt make it up, could you. I got fined €200.

    I have a very gentle Spanish friend who owns a cave house, some Germans decided to squat in it. When Julio asked his lawyer why nothing was happening to evict them, the lawyer started blagging him. Julio made some enquiries and found that his lawyer was taking money from the German sqatters to do nothing.

    I heard of another case involving a ganador I know who was attacked by someone who was ‘enchufargo’ – the case went to court and guess who was guilty – that’s right.

    Remember the Marbella fixer who creamed at least €400 million – what was he fined €4 million.

    The tragedy in all this is that had the EEC been created to benefit all Europeans and not just to facilitate big business then countries like Spain would have had to have changed and proven to have changed before letting them join the European community.

    Then not only foreigners but the ordinary decent Spanish would have truly benefited as well – esta la vida.

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