Two ex-mayors of Bigastro, José Joaquín Moya and Raul Valerio Medina will be testifying in court today. They are accused of embezzlement in the case involving false Social Security payments for 45 workers over a nine year period. Also called to court are ex-councillors; Joaquín Pérez, María Carmen Grau and Maria Carmen Alonso along with the former secretary, Antonio Saseta.
The council have already been fined 60,000 for the fraud which has been admitted by some of the workers. In their statements they said that the payment of their Social Security was a “favour” from the mayor.
In his defence, Raúl Valerio Medina says that there were only two cases during his tenure as mayor and both of them have already said they were actually working for the council. He also says that the report made was incomplete and conceals important data. According to Medina, the original report included 68 people which was subsequently reduced to 45 which meant that there were already 23 workers whose cases have been proved to be genuine.
The basis of the complaint is that there was no agricultural activity to warrant payment under the special scheme during that period. However, he says that the 45 did work work for the council in a different capacity when there was no agricultural work for them to engage in. In his view, the need for these farm workers is more than proven and that the whole case is a witch hunt set out by the PP to discredit his party.
We shall have to wait and see what the court in Orihuela makes of all this.