The ‘money junkie’, again in the courts of Valencia after recently changing lawyers

VALENCIA, 27 (EUROPA PRESS)

Marcos Benavent, self-styled ‘money junkie’, returns to the Valencia courts this Wednesday to testify in the Imelsa case after recently changing his lawyer and requesting it himself.

Benavent, former manager of Imelsa, is summoned this Wednesday at 12 noon in the Court of Instruction number 18 of Valencia. The investigated will go to the judicial offices accompanied by his new lawyer, criminal Juan Carlos Navarro, who will act in substitution of lawyer Ramiro Blasco, who defended him since the case broke out. According to sources consulted by Europa Press, Benavent could now change the version that it has maintained throughout the instruction.

The Imelsa case dates back to 2014, when the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office opened an investigation following an EUPV complaint that alluded to an alleged corruption plot in Imelsa, the defunct company of the Valencia Provincial Council. Specifically, Benavent was accused of creating a shell company that invoiced five other merchants who in turn charged Imelsa for work that presumably was not carried out.

Different commissions would have been diverted from there, damaging the public coffers. The case, which ended up divided into different pieces, in which contracts with different companies related, among others, with investment plans for fields and artificial turf, indoor swimming pools and paddle tennis courts, have been studied, led to the arrest and investigation in January 2016 of the former president of the Diputación with the PP Alfonso Rus and part of his leadership in the provincial corporation and also ended in another derivative: the ‘Taula case’ or ‘smurfing’, which affected the municipal group of the PP in the City Council of Valencia at the time of Rita Barberá at the head of the Mayor’s Office.

In several of these pieces, the opening of oral proceedings has already been agreed. The first is due to the alleged irregularities in awards to the company Thematica Events. In this case, the first defendants who face crimes of prevarication, embezzlement of public funds, falsification in commercial and official documents carried out by officials, fraud in the hiring and money laundering.

For Marcos Benavent, the Prosecutor’s Office asks for 8 years and three months in jail; for the former vice president of the Valencia Provincial Council and former mayor of Moncada with the PP, Juan José Medina – five years old – and Rafael García Barat, administrator of Thematica Events – seven years old.

Parallel to these pieces, the name of Benavent appears related to other of the most relevant corruption cases in the Valencian Community, Erial, which affects the former president of the Generalitat with PP Eduardo Zaplana. The documents of the ‘road map’ of this case (the tenders of the Wind and ITV plans) have their origin in a documentation that a Syrian citizen gave to Benavent and that were found in a registry in the law office of the former manager of Imelsa.

Marcos Benavent went to court for the first time in May 2015, when he accepted his right not to testify in court but he did so before the media to define himself as a ‘money junkie’ and ensure that he took away from the Diputación de Valencia “money of everything”, while warning that he was going to hurt “a lot of people” by telling the truth.

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