Haiti hospital fraudster escapes jail for now
Alex Dunham · 5 Jun 2014, 09:41
Published: 05 Jun 2014 09:41 GMT+02:00
- Jailed: Politician who stole Haiti charity money (29 May 14)
Valencia regional deputy Rafael Blasco could still be landed with an eight year jail sentence if Spain’s Supreme Court upholds the initial ruling.
The country’s anticorruption prosecutor called for the judge to keep Blasco behind bars or that they at least set bail at €2 million arguing there was a high risk he would flee and that it would also prove his questionably high capital assets if he had coughed up the sum.
According to Spanish daily El País, the magistrates agreed there was a risk but thought that bail was disproportionate as Blasco has already had his passport seized and was banned from leaving the country.
The 69-year-old has been found guilty of leading a plot whichdefrauded €1.8 million set aside for development schemes in Nicaragua and €4 million for a bogus hospital project in Haiti in the aftermath of their devastating 2010 earthquake.
He did so by pressuring his employees into handing out subsidies to the Cyes Foundation, a fake NGO which syphoned off the funds into real estate purchases in Spain’s Valencia region.
Blasco, who switched from Spain’s Socialist Party to the right-wing Popular Party when he was kicked out for allegedly accepting bribes in return for favours to real estate developers, has defended his innocence throughout the trial and is now appealing.