CARMEN MARIN, the disgraced president of Parque Animal has asked for her prison sentence to be suspended due to psychiatric problems.
A judge will now decide whether Ms Marin’s claims of depression, anxiety and health problems are enough to see her avoid jail after she was sentenced to almost four years for animal cruelty and fraud.
Ms Marin had been given five days to voluntarily present herself to prison, however her lawyers have now presented evidence of their client’s psychological issues, as well as her fibromyalgia, cataract and neurological disorder. Although they recognise none of these “represent an imminent risk to life.” Ms Marin’s defence instead claims her issues are “incompatible with prison life.”
Parque Animal was run from 1998 to 2010 by the accused, until she was convicted after Guardia Civil officers found the bodies of dozens of animals in rubbish bins and freezers. At her trial, the judge found Marin had made a “lucrative” business out of the charity, which benefitted from zero tax, and carried out “culling sessions” on a “massive and unjustified” scale. Marin also faced further charges of using the charity’s money to fund luxury travel, restaurant trips and cars.
At her latest trial, the judge said he believed Parque Animal paid out €104,382 to department stores, using the funds to reform and decorate her daughter’s beauty centre. Marin was also accused of using public funds to pay for a lift in one of her buildings, supermarket purchases and car rental, after receiving tens of thousands of Euros from the council.
Over the summer, thetroubled charity’s future became unclear after a tender to find new managers for the sanctuary failed to attract any offers.
The council will now reopen the application process, with the building’s current managers, Animal Home, continuing to take in animals in the meantime.
Torremolinos’ Environment Department had offered up to €67,000 to the successful applicant for taking over the shelter. Three companies were invited to take part in the tender, which would see the successful firm collect, transport and shelter the town’s lost and abandoned animals, but not one chose to submit an application. The Council is now said to be considering upping its offer to attract more companies.
Animal Home have managed the site since the investigation concluded in 2012, although the property continues to be owned by Parque Animal after it was given a 50-year lease in 1998.