ONE of the biggest corruption scandals in Spanish history is set to come to a close.
The ERE scandal saw almost €1 billion stolen from the coffers of the Junta de Andalucia over a 10-year period.
It saw mostly politicians from the PSOE-run Junta embezzle public money meant for unemployed and retired workers.
In total, at least €855 million were stolen.
The investigation, which began back in 2011, had to be subdivided into multiple cases – one for each company that benefited from an irregular ERE (grant) or made an improper use of those funds.
But now the alleged architects of the slush fund are set to face the music after their trial ended in December last year.
Some 21 defendants, including two former Junta presidents Manuel Chaves and Jose Antonio Grinan, will be told their fate tomorrow.
At noon, a court clerk will name each defendant one by one and hand their attorneys a pen drive containing the details of the ruling.
There will not be a public reading of the ruling, which consists of around 1,700 pages.
The three magistrates who led the trial, Juan Antonio Calle Pena, Pilar Llorente and Encarnacion Gomez, will not be present.
The 21 former senior officials are accused by the Prosecutor of defrauding the Junta out of €855 million by creating a ‘totally opaque’ public aid grant system which had no oversight and which siphoned off cash into companies and businesses instead of helping the unemployed and retired workers.
They are charged with perverting the course of justice and embezzlement.
Some of them have only been prosecuted for the former and face just 10 years of disqualification from public office.
This includes ex-president Manuel Chaves, former advisers Gaspar Zarrias and Magdalena Alvarez, former deputy councillor Jose Salgueiro, former general director of Budgets Antonio Lozano.
For those accused of both charges, the punishment requested by prosecutors ranges from six to eight years.
Those facing six years are former president Jose Antonio Grinan, the former Minister of Finance Carmen Martinez Aguayo, the former General Controller Manuel Gomez, the former General Director of the Institute of Development of Andalucia (IFA) Jacinto Cañete, and former Technical General Secretary of Employment Lourdes Medina.
They are also facing a 30-year ban from public office.
The defendants facing eight years are former advisers Francisco Vallejo, Jose Antonio Viera and Antonio Fernandez; the labour directors Francisco Javier Guerrero and Juan Marquez; former Employment Councillor Agustin Barbera and former Innovation Councillor Jesus Maria Rodriguez Roman; former IFA / IDEA general director Miguel Angel Serrano and former technical general secretaries Juan Francisco Sanchez and Javier Aguado.