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These are the graces bestowed by Felipe González, Aznar, Zapatero and Rajoy in Spain

Updated: Tuesday, June 22, 2021 09:27

Published: 06/22/2021 9:26 AM

The Council of Ministers approved on Tuesday the pardons granted to the prisoners of the trial, who could be released today, according to sources of the Supreme Court in LaSexta.

But this is not the first time that this measure has been granted in our country. The government of Pedro Sánchez signed 70, far from the executive of Aznar which granted 5,948 “pardons” or that of Felipe González, with a total of 5,944.

Next, we review the number of pardons granted by the last government presidents and those that have been most notorious.

Felipe González

The former socialist leader granted, according to Civio data, 5,944 pardons between 1982 and 1996. The most famous is that of the former Cantabrian president Juan Hormaechea (Popular Alliance and PP), convicted of embezzlement of public funds.

González’s executive forgave him the 1995 prison sentence for the aforementioned crime, but the Constitutional Court ordered a repeat of the trial and he was convicted again. Years later, in 2011, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero granted him that measure again.

Another of the “pardons” granted by Felipe González was Jesús Gil y Gil, former president of Atlético de Madrid and former mayor of Marbella. In 1972, Franco granted him the first pardon when he was sentenced to five years in prison for the deaths of 58 people in the collapse of a restaurant he owned. In 1994, González signed a second pardon that prevented Gil from going to jail for selling a plot that had been taken over.

José Maria Aznar

The former president of the People’s Party granted 5,948 pardons between 1990 and 2004.

In 1998, he signed the “pardon” of 10 of the 12 convicted for the kidnapping of Segundo Marey in 1983, which the Anti-Terrorist Liberation Groups (GAL) took for a member of ETA and kept him locked up for ten days. Among the beneficiaries of this pardon were former Interior Minister José Barrionuevo and former Secretary of State for Security Rafael Vera, both members of the government of Felipe González.

The PP executive also granted this measure to Carlos Navarro, Luis Oliveró and Alberto Flores, three of those convicted in the Filesa case – the scandal of the illegal financing of the PSOE in the late 1980s.

Among the others pardoned by Aznar is also Judge Javier Gómez de Liaño, convicted of a crime of prevarication in the Soegecable case. He did so despite the fact that the Supreme Court advised against the pardon measure for this convict, who currently practices the profession of lawyer.

José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero

The former socialist leader signed 3,381 pardons between 2004 and 2011. The most striking is that granted to Alfredo Sáenz, then director of Banco Santander, during the last Council of Ministers before leaving La Moncloa in 2011.

The banker was sentenced to three months of arrest and ban for misrepresentation. In this case, the measure also had an unfavorable report from the Supreme Court. The district court ultimately overturned part of the measure because Sáenz’s case was canceled, allowing him to continue practicing.

The Zapatero government also signed a second pardon for Juan Hormaechea, who had already benefited from this measure by Felipe González after being convicted of embezzlement of public funds.

Mariano Rajoy

The last to hold the post before Pedro Sánchez pardoned 898 people between 2011 and 2018. In his case, the most controversial was the one that granted two of the convicts in the Yak-42 case, the plane crash in which 62 soldiers died in 2003.

Those pardoned were José Ramón Ramírez García and Miguel Ángel Sáez García, two health commanders who were disqualified for falsifying the identities of half of those killed in the accident. Thus, they dodged 18 months in prison and a year of special prohibition.

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