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The first trial in the ERE case is opened, with 22 former senior members of the Board of Andalusia in the dock

As from today, 22 former senior members of the Board, along with the former presidents Chaves and Griñán, are facing between 6 and 8 years in prison and 20 years of disqualification for alleged crimes involving perverting the course of justice, embezzlement and unlawful association. The oral hearing of the political component of the ERE case has been opened, the first to be judged in this extensive case which began 7 years ago.

Comienza el juicio de los ERE que sienta en el banquillo a 22 exaltos cargos de la Junta de Andalucía

Today it will be ruled whether the successive governments of the Board (first with Chaves and then with Griñán) devised and kept in the time - between 2000 and 2009 - an irregular system for arbitrarily granting social aid and bypassing controls... The Public Prosecutor's Office estimates that, through this, 741 million euros could have been defrauded, which the examining magistrates increased to 855.

The dock includes, among others, Manuel Chaves, president of Andalusia for 19 years and of the PSOE for 12. Alongside him, his successor in the Board of Andalusia, former president José Antonio Griñán. Accompanying them  Gaspar Zarrías, and the former Minister of Development and adviser, Magdalena Álvarez. Also the former advisers Carmen Martínez Aguayo, José Antonio Viera and Francisco Vallejo, among others.

The Public Prosecutor's Office is asking for 10 years of disqualification for Chaves, due to perverting the course of justice. Griñán is also accused of embezzlement; he is facing 6 years in prison and 30 more of disqualification. The 15 defendants accused of embezzlement are being asked by the Public Prosecutor¿s Office to sympathetically return 483 million euros.

The preliminary inquiries will run until Friday. The accused, the 114 witnesses and 12 experts will be summoned to court in January.

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