The trial of the 'Cursach case' begins, the largest investigation of police corruption in Palma

After nine years of investigation, three investigating judges, several separate pieces and dozens of investigated, the trial for the Cursach case, that addresses the alleged collusion of the nightlife tycoon Bartolomé Cursach with agents of the Palma Local Police to benefit his businesses. 23 people sit on the bench of the Palma Provincial Court on Monday, including the Mallorcan nightlife businessman Bartolomé Cursach, for whom the prosecution is demanding 18 months in prison for crimes of belonging to a criminal organization and prevarication. Along with him, are prosecuted the number two of his business conglomerate, Bartolomé Sbert, and three other workers; 14 agents and commanders of the Palma Local Police; three officials and a former public official. The defendants are accused of a range of crimes that range from belonging to a criminal organization to prevarication through threats or disclosure of secrets.

The parent piece that is now being prosecuted had been in the Provincial Court for two years awaiting trial. Ten days before the start of the hearing, the prosecutors Juan Carrau and Tomás Herranz modified the indictment requesting the dismissal of the case for seven people and significantly varied the account of their accusation, so that they have left out some episodes of those who dealt with the investigation.

The trial will focus on the episodes involving the agents of the so-called Green Patrol of the Local Police, which was in charge of monitoring leisure areas, and the alleged episodes of repeated inspections of nightclubs without motivation. “These decisions were arbitrary and unjustified,” the prosecutors say in the letter, in which they separate the actions of the agents from an attempt to harm businessmen with premises that were direct competition for Cursach.

The prosecution has buried a series of events by verifying “a lack of credibility” of the facts, because many of the witnesses on which the stories were based have been prosecuted for false testimony. The accusations about the alleged parties of policemen with drugs and prostitutes in one of the reserved areas of the Cursach nightclubs have been left out of the process. Also the investigation that inquired about an alleged speeding up of licenses for the businessman’s businesses by a high-ranking official of the Balearic Government, when it was verified that he never issued any resolution in this regard.

During these years, the businessman has maintained his characteristic low profile in the face of the public, punctuated with an appearance in a parliamentary commission in 2015 and with his prosecution in an investigating court for having a weapon without a license, a crime for which he was finally convicted. to eight months in prison.

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In the course of the investigations, Cursach spent 13 months in provisional prison, which would be subtracted from a hypothetical sentence for the process that is now being prosecuted. The Provincial Court has reserved around 150 sessions between now and April of next year for the last assault on Bartolomé Cursach.

The proceedings began nine years ago with the investigation into a series of irregularities in the competitions for promotion within the Palma Local Police. The investigations progressed and ended up being limited to a group of agents who were allegedly dedicated to harassing nightlife venues in the most touristic areas of the city. Unexpected raids, surveillance work, threats and even demands for sexual favors are some of the actions that the prosecution maintains that this group of accused agents carried out.

An instruction full of incidents

The case started from the hand of an investigating judge in 2009 and went to the table of Judge Manuel Penalva and the anti-corruption prosecutor Miguel Ángel Subirán just a year later. The investigations were rushed and several separate pieces were born from the main cause that is now being brought to trial that came to implicate politicians from the Palma City Council, who were later exonerated after the proceedings against them were filed.
During the investigation, dozens of witnesses and investigators paraded through the court, some of whom ended up in provisional prison. After the accusations of irregularities against the judge and the prosecutor, the matter became the responsibility of a third magistrate, Miquel Florit, who ended up removed months later after ordering the intervention of the mobile phones of two journalists to try to investigate the leaks of the secret summary.

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