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Real estate corruption trial opens in Spain

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Editor's note: This item is republished with permission from Global Edge Marketing Ltd. View original post. One of the largest corruption trials in Spanish history opened last week focusing on allegations that a number of high-profile public figures took bribes in return for approving developer planning applications. Ninety-five defendants are on trial, including two former mayors, 15 town councilors and a German aristocrat. At the center of the case is the former Marbella town planner and businessman Juan Antonio Roca, a man the Spanish media has dubbed "Mr Big." Roca faces fines of €800 million ($1.12 billion in U.S. currency) and 35 years in prison for allegedly being the mastermind behind a cash-for-votes system operated at town hall meetings. Roca allegedly ran a complex network of corrupt city officials who presided over potentially lucrative planning approval decisions. According to the Guardian newspaper, Roca was the man who decided wh...