FORMER Calpe mayor, Francisco Javier Morato, and two ex-Partido Popular councillors have been convicted of receiving bribes over a waste contract awarded in 1998.

Javier Morato got a 30-month prison sentence while businessman Angel Fenoli, who was the winning bidder, was sentenced to two years and a day behind bars.

The Alicante Provincial Court verdicts and sentences can be appealed before the Valencian Superior Court.

Javier Morato and former councillors, Juan Rosello and Fernando Penella, who also received 30-month prison sentences, were barred from public office for 13 years and fined.

Rosello’s brother-in-law was also convicted and given a two-year jail term for being involved in the bribery plot.

Three other people were acquitted for lack of evidence.

The Alicante court said the punishments had been reduced due to the extraordinary long time in processing the case.

Fenoli paid the mayor and councillors a bribe of over €601,000 to secure the 25-year waste contract concession for Calpe in 1998.

Rosello’s brother-in-law acted as an intermediary and he got over €90,000 which was meant to go to local football club, Calpe CF, which only received €24,000.

After the contract was signed in February 1998, Fenoli asked for a contract extension to cover the cost of the bribes.

In 2000, the deal was extended on the grounds of improving the treatment of algae found on Calpe beaches.

The Alicante court said the contract extension was done ‘without complying with legally required procedures’ with no technical reports commissioned or the existence of any public interest in the move.

The court however said there was no provable link over the extension being agreed to on the grounds of benefiting Fenoli’s company.

Fenoli has been previously convicted of five tax fraud charges.

The Orihuela area businessman was a key figure along with two-ex Orihuela mayors in the so-called Brugal Case over the awarding of waste contracts in the late nineties.

He and the defendants were acquitted in 2020 but prosecutors are still pushing for fresh hearings.

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