THE BUSINESSMAN accused of trying to bribe Benitachell Mayor Josep Antoni Femenia went on trial at Alicante Provincial Court earlier this week.
Fernando Jesus TL faces two years in prison and a €5,400 fine for allegedly offering the mayor €50,000 in exchange for speeding up the formalities of a lawsuit he intended to file against Benitachell council.
The events date back to May 2012, when the council demolished a petrol station on the road that connects Benitachell and Javea.
The demolition was ordered by Superior Court of Justice of the Comunitat Valenciana (TSJCV).
One year on, in May 2013, the accused, who owned the petrol station, filed a claim for equity liability.
Another year later in August 2014, the businessman arrived at Benitachell Town Hall and asked the mayor to go for coffee with him.
It was at this meeting that the accused is said to have told the mayor he intended on filing a €150,000 lawsuit against Benitachell council for losses.
The businessman is alleged to have said:
“After the city has paid me the €150,000, I will give you €50,000 because these processes are very long and I understand that you can shorten the process.”
The mayor told the prosecution that he asked the accused if he was really offering him money in exchange for speeding up the formalities and he reiterated his offer.
The businessman has denied bribery and has accused the mayor of fabricating the events on behalf of a personal friend of his, who owns another petrol station which was in direct competition with the one owned by him.