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Prosecutors reduce Villarejo’s prison sentence to 80 years in his first major trial.

Date: July 6, 2022 3:03 am

Retired Commissioner José Manuel Villarejo at the National High Court in June this year.Carlos Lujan (Europa Press)

Anti-corruption prosecutors have reduced a petition against retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo to more than 80 years in prison in the first major trial he faces in the National High Court. Prosecutors, who originally asked for a 109-year sentence for the former police officer, decided to drop some of the charges against him in this oral hearing, which began last October and focuses on three alleged spy projects (labeled as Iron, Earth, and Artist).

On Tuesday, the Anti-Corruption Authority announced a series of changes to its final findings in Villarejo’s first trial in the macro-sum Tandem case, for which he was arrested in 2017 and spent more than three years in preventive detention. He is accused by the State Department of allegedly using his police status to profit from private projects commissioned by individuals and companies through Cenyt, the business group he led.

Prosecutors also announced significant cuts for Villarejo’s wife, Hemma Alcala, for whom she is finally asking for five years in prison, compared to the more than 80 years she asked for when the hearing began. Alcala, accused of collaborating in bribery that prosecutors attribute to her husband, is one of the main beneficiaries of the changes revealed on Tuesday. In the same situation is the son of a retired commissioner, for whom the Public Ministry originally requested about 14 years in prison, but who now remains in prison for one year for conspiracy-grade extortion.

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