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CRIME

Seven people arrested each day in Spain for corruption

A report released by Spain’s interior ministry on Thursday revealed that nearly seven Spaniards were arrested for corruption charges every day last year.

Seven people arrested each day in Spain for corruption
Archive photo of someone getting handcuffed. Photo: Tar Sands Blockade/Flickr Creative Commons.

The overall number of people arrested on corruption charges dropped between 2014 and 2015 from 2,743 to 2,442.

But last year’s figures are still more than six times higher than in 2010 – and mean than nearly seven Spaniards were arrested for corruption for each day of 2015. About 1,100 corruption cases are still ongoing.

Number of arrests for corruption

From the Spanish Interior Ministry report.

Over the past three years, more than 7,000 people have been slapped with handcuffs over corruption allegations. 

The Spanish Government “has been forceful and determined to fight against corruption in our country over the past legislature,” Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz wrote in the report.

The type of corruption that most commonly goes unnoticed is social security fraud (16.3 percent of cases), according to the report, followed by public finance fraud (8.1 percent).

Bribery made up 12.5 percent of corruption cases and embezzlement made up 8.2 percent.

The National Police and Guardia Civil investigated 6,488 businesses last year, finding 2,057 of them to have evidence of violations, including 847 fictitious companies.

They also investigated nearly 11,500 workplaces for labour violations, of which 4,616 were suspected of violating the Law of Foreigners.

In total, the report stated that fraud cases added up to nearly €80 million.

The interior ministry also reported that 445 groups and 18,463 people were investigated for organized crime last year. More than 60 percent of the groups were “totally dismantled”.

A number of high-profile corruption and fraud cases are ongoing in Spain now, including the trial of the king’s sister, Princess Cristina, who is accused of tax evasion over her husband’s business dealings.

READ: 10 corruption scandals that will take your breath away

The conservative Popular Party of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has faced a series of corruption probes, including a raid last week of the headquarters. Madrid party leader Esperanza Aguirre resigned in the wake of the raids.

Executives of a prominent chain of dental offices that serves millions of patients also fell into hot water this week when they were arrested over money laundering and tax fraud.

A report last month concluded that Spain was one of the most corrupt countries in the European Union.

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CRIME

Spain church attack suspect to undergo psychiatric testing

The Moroccan suspect held in connection with a machete attack on two Spanish churches, killing a verger and badly injuring a priest, will undergo psychiatric testing, a court said Tuesday.

Spain church attack suspect to undergo psychiatric testing

The case is being handled by the Audiencia Nacional, Spain’s top criminal court, with the judge in charge asking that “two doctors conduct a psychiatric evaluation of the suspect”.

The suspect, 25-year-old Yassine Kanjaa, was arrested at the scene after the attacks on two churches in the southern town of Algeciras last week.

The Audiencia Nacional said the psychiatric evaluation, which will be carried out by doctors from the court’s forensic department, would provide “information about the legal responsibility” of the “presumed jihadist”.

Prosecutors have opened a terror probe and, on Monday, the court remanded the suspect in custody without bail on murder and terrorism charges.

During the deadly incident on January 26th, the suspect entered San Isidro church and attacked its priest with a machete, leaving him seriously wounded before entering Nuestra Señora de La Palma.

There he attacked the verger and chased him out of the church where he killed him.

‘Targeted priests and infidels’

Court details released on Monday said the attacker had also injured three other people, including another Moroccan man whom he “considered an infidel” because he had renounced his faith.

It said Kanjaa’s actions could be “qualified as a jihadist attack directed at both priests who profess the Catholic faith, and Muslims who, according to the suspect, don’t follow the Koran”.

The court said the suspect fits the profile of a “self-indoctrinated terrorist who acts individually without direct ties to a specific terror group but operates in the name of jihadist philosophy”.

Last week, Spain’s left-wing government refused to rule out mental illness and the police have described him as “unstable”.

The court said Kanjaa became indoctrinated “rapidly” within the space of up to six weeks, citing witnesses as telling police that just before that, he “was drinking alcohol and smoking hashish”. Then he suddenly started listening “regularly to the Koran on his mobile phone”.

One of Kanjaa’s neighbours told AFP something similar on Friday, saying he had changed radically six weeks ago, growing a beard and wearing a long robe.

Officials have said Kanjaa was served with a deportation order last June but had no prior convictions and was not under surveillance.

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