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Ex-PP officials and businessmen cronies jailed in corruption case

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Ex-PP officials and businessmen cronies jailed in corruption case
Francisco Correa (right) said gifts were "usual practice". Photo: AFP
15:20 CET+01:00
Several former officials from Spain's ruling Popular Party (PP) and businessmen close to the grouping were sentenced from three to 13 years in jail, a court said on Friday, in what is only part of a wider corruption scandal.

The scandal revolves around Francisco Correa, a businessman accused of showering PP lawmakers and civil servants in several places with bribes in exchange for public contracts for his companies or those of his friends.   

The corruption network is suspected of having embezzled tens of millions of euros in public funds between 1999 and 2005.   

READ MORE: Ten Spain corruption scandals that will take your breath away

The case is just one of a series to have hit the PP over the past years, damaging its reputation to such an extent that it lost its absolute majority in recent elections, even if it remains in power as a minority government.   

This particular sentence focuses on 11 people in the eastern region of Valencia and contracts linked to Fitur, Spain's largest tourism fair -  the trial of which took place between March 2015 and March 2016.

It is only one section of the wider scandal surrounding Correa, who is also on trial in Madrid along with 36 other defendants in a similar case that also involves two former PP treasurers.

In a statement, the High Court of Valencia said Correa had been sentenced to 13 years in jail for influence peddling and bribery, among other charges.    

Milagrosa Martinez, the former head of tourism in Valencia, was given a nine-year prison sentence.

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