GOOGLE has removed an Olive Press article about a corrupt Marbella judge from all searches following a data protection ruling from the European Court of Human Rights.
The global search engine insisted the story – concerning Francisco Javier de Urquia – was being erased due to a request under data protection law.
It said: “We are no longer able to show one page from your site in response to some search queries for names.”
The article in question, titled ‘Judge in double trouble’, details the corruption allegations leveled at de Urquia, who became a judge at just 27.
He took payments in return for acting favourably towards some of the 23 people investigated in a €92 million laundering investigation.
He was later sentenced to two years imprisonment for taking a €60,000 bribe in return for letting three suspects go free in 2007. However, he avoided jail time by paying his hefty fine.
The Data Protection request may have come from any of the individuals named in the story, as we listed various Marbella businessmen linked to the probe, called Operation Hidalgo.
The case centred on the movement of funds of a leading Marbella-based legal firm.
In one alarming example, judge Antonio Barrosa claimed to have uncovered a ‘perfectly designed plan’ in which de Urquia, now 46, would have benefitted from the transfer of €8 million to a Swiss bank account.
Under allegations in the bigger Operation Malaya case, he is said to taken money from former Marbella planning svengali Juan Antonio Roca. These were payments of €63,000 and €10,800.
Olive Press opinion:
IN George Orwell’s iconic dystopian novel, 1984, the protagonist works at the ironically named Ministry of Truth, editing and deleting historical archives at the government’s whim.
The similarity between Orwell’s oppressive regime and the new data protection law – which has effectively erased one extremely important and revealing corruption story on a judge in Spain – is scary, to say the least.
Criminals, paedophiles, corrupt judges and anyone who wants their dirty past hidden from the public eye can now seemingly do so.
In the case of de Urquia it appears to be working, with the disgraced former judge now apparently working as a lawyer again in a leading Marbella practice.
When this law came into effect we were apprehensive. Now we are directly affected by it, the need for rigorous, investigative journalism is greater than ever.
By Tom Powell