BENIDORM councillor, Lorenzo Martinez Sola, says he is confident of being cleared of any illegal involvement with a Russian mafia gang.

23 people, including politicians and police officers, were arrested in December 2020.

At the time, the Policia Nacional described it as the ‘biggest East European mafia’ probe in Spain for a decade.

The gang is accused of trying to ‘infiltrate’ Spanish institutions through bribery to control sectors of the economy.

They are said to have laundered money to buy properties and hospitality businesses.

One of those drawn into the probe was Benidorm Partido Popular councillor, Lorenzo Martinez Sola.

He had a series of phone conversations with alleged gang leader, Altea-based solicitor, Alexei Shirokov.

Those exchanges were recorded as part of the police inquiries into Shirokov’s activities.

Martinez Sola testified in court on Monday, as a judge investigates money laundering and corruption charges.

In a statement, Lorenzo Martinez Sola said: “I fully trust the justice system and I am sure that it will soon issue a resolution over the matter which will be favourable.”

Martínez Sola said he ‘made it clear’ before the judge that what was reflected in the telephone conversations for which he is being investigated ‘has nothing to do with the reality of the facts’.

He has denied all charges and complained that he has been subjected for over a year to a ‘parallel media trial’.

The councillor rejected fresh calls from the opposition PSOE socialist party for him and Benidorm mayor, Toni Perez, to resign for ‘lying’ about the situation.

Martinez Sola said that the PSOE were trying to gain a political advantage by making ‘noise in the media’.

“When the investigation is over, I will finally be able to offer a more extensive explanation of what happened,” the councillor concluded.

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