Tag: court case

Latest Gran Canaria News, Views & Sunshine

Foundation Investigated for Alleged Mismanagement of Public Funds Meant for Care of Unaccompanied Migrant Minors

The 7th Investigative Court of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria has opened a preliminary investigation into the Social Response Foundation Siglo XXI and four of its directors. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office in Las Palmas filed a complaint against them, alleging crimes that could include forgery of commercial documents, mismanagement, and embezzlement of public funds. The investigation aims to determine whether this nonprofit organisation, and its officials, could have misused public funds intended for the care of unaccompanied migrant minors, during the migration crisis of 2020 that was precipitated by the pandemic confinement on the islands, leading to a build up of arrivals having to be assessed and cared for by the Canary Islands Regional Government, using hotels left empty due to the lack of tourism. The estimated amount involved in the alleged misuse stands at around €12.5 million between 2020 and 2022 on Gran Canaria alone.


Canary Islands Expect Rain and Potential Storm Weather Next Week

The Canary Islands are preparing for a change in the weather next week, as a significant increase in cloud is expected bringing higher probability of rain. The effects of a powerful storm forming in the Atlantic Ocean are likely to extend to the Canary Islands as well as neighbouring Madeira and The Azores.


The Canary Guide #WeekendTips 2-4 June 2023

June is here and that means that summer is just around the corner. The Patron Saints’ festivities in honour of San Juan de Bautista and San Antonio de Padua are just getting started on Gran Canaria, and in Pueblo de Mogán the main Romería pilgrimage for San Antonio El Chico is this first Saturday of June, as well as the start of the build up to those in Arucas, Santa Brígida and Moya. This weekend also brings the biggest outlet fair shopping experience back to INFECAR and a collectables fair in Gáldar.
OPERATION KILO is this weekend, at all participating supermarkets, asking you to add a few non-perishable food items to the Food Bank collection boxes to help families in need.

Vox Enters Canarian Politics, Stage Right: Anti-Migrant, Anti-Feminist, Anti-Green, Anti-Autonomy, Anti-LGBT, Anti-Multiculturalism, Pro-Franco politics find a foothold on The Canary Islands

The Canary Islands were unable to avoid the rise of the far right on Sunday, unlike in 2019, writes Natalia G. Vargas in Canarias Ahora. Vox, which previously had no representation on the islands, managed to make its presence felt in several municipalities and councils this May 28. They also secured seats in the Canary Islands’ regional parliament, securing four deputies. “Defending what is ours, our own, and fighting against insecurity” were the slogans that underpinned Vox’s campaign in The Canary Islands, along with “family, employment, and freedom.” This rhetoric, coupled with an electoral program that was repeated across all local elections in Spain, proved sufficient. Dozens of cities and towns on the islands welcomed their first far right candidates of the modern democratic era into Canarian politics, with urban areas serving as their main strongholds.

La Alcaldesa Bueno Secures Incredible Majority in Mogán

Mogán, May 29, 2023 – The often controversial incumbent, O Bueno, La Alcaldesa, has achieved an unprecedented and resounding victory once more in Mogán. The candidate who switched her party’s name, for these elections, to “Juntos por Mogán”, a local ally of the regionalist conservatives “Coalición Canaria” (CC), will once again assume the role of mayor. Her party has clinched a rather noteworthy 17 out of the 21 seats in the Municipal Council of this popular tourism destination located on the sunny southwest of Gran Canaria.


Internet video car chase driver accepts sentence of one year and one month on top of jail time for prior offences

The woman who starred in a 10 minute Guardia Civil police car chase, caught on camera in the Gran Canaria municipality of Agüimes on January 21 has pleaded guilty to the facts and consented to of one year and one month in prison, the sentence requested by the prosecutor, after reaching an agreement with the prosecution and justice system.


The closed-door trial against reckless driver, Lioba Cazorla, was held on Wednesday in Criminal Court number 1 in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria after she was investigated for two crimes against road safety, one of reckless driving and another for driving without a permit, at the hearing the defendant admitted the facts, reported by the Prosecutor’s Office, and reached the agreement that entailed a reduction of the custodial sentence initially requested from two years and six months to nine months in prison for the two crimes and four more months for breach of sentence.
The public prosecutor narrated the brief of provisional conclusions that at about 1:00 p.m. on January 21, 2021, the accused failed to stop for a Guardia Civil patrol car, having committing a traffic offence, after she was spotted using her mobile while driving on the GC1 main southern motorway, tried to evade capture in a car owned by a rental company that she was driving.
Despite taking her young son and two other companions being with her in the vehicle, she decided to ignore repeated attempts to stop the vehicle, resulting in a car chase, “with absolute disregard for the elementary rules of road safety,” undertaking at a speed “excessive for the circumstances of the road and without respecting traffic regulations” putting the lives of pedestrians and other drivers in the streets where she traveled at risk. The Guardia Civil agents made use of the light and acoustic signals and then began to pursue the defendant who took southbound entrance 23 towards the GC-191 highway in the direction of the town of Carrizal.
During her attempted flight the accused made several dangerous manoeuvres, overtaking other vehicles on their right side, even invading the hard shoulder and then changed lanes “abruptly” driving in the wrong direction towards oncoming traffic, as well as travelling across several streets and roundabouts in the opposite direction before colliding head-on with another vehicle at kilometre 3.5 of the GC-191, whose owner has not claimed compensation. After this, the woman made a U-turn, near to the Viveros El Rosal, to return towards Cruz de Arinaga and entered an urban area to drive to the La Goleta neighbourhood, where she jumped from the moving vehicle attempting to flee the scene, down Calle Lope de Vega until she was finally intercepted.
The attorney for the defendant, Yeray Álamo, explained that her client is “very sorry” for her involvement in the car chase. “Upon seeing the images, she has shown repentance,” said the lawyer who also explained that the accused was fleeing because she had an outstanding “warrant for another procedure” and acted from “nervousness” in the moment due to the warrant including an “order to search and capture”. The lawyer pointed out that they will ask for a suspension of the prison sentence once issued under the terms agreed yesterday.
Ms. Lioba Cazorla, who according to the prosecutor, has never obtained a driving license, is currently supposed to be serving a two-year prison sentence for a crime of injury, the final sentence for which was issued on January 24, 2019 by the Court of Instruction number 4 of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and she has various previous criminal records, one of which is for abuse in the family and two for driving without a license, to which were added aggravating circumstances due to her being a repeat offender. The defendant must now compensate the rental company Autoreisen SL in the amount of €399.01 for damages caused.


Detained “social educator” released from custody without further restrictions, while accuser is also under investigation

A “social educator” detained on Saturday by the Guardia Civil, following serious accusations alleging aggression towards a resident of Arguineguín, Kevin L., 28, in the southwestern Gran Canaria municipality of Mogán, on December 9, has been released. The detained man, Rachid, was working, alongside a female colleague, at the time of the alleged altercation, to monitor and chaperone a small group of teenage minors on an outing. He was released from custody without further restrictions of any sort being deemed necessary, having spent this Monday at the disposal of the investigating Court of Instruction number 1 in the neighbouring municipality of San Bartolomé de Tirajana, where a preliminary hearing was held on Tuesday. Both the prosecutor and the judge rejected outright the need for “precautionary measures” as requested by the accuser, and alleged victim, Kevín L., who also appeared before the court, under investigation on similar charges, according to sources close to Rachid’s defense. The full hearing has been scheduled for January.


Meanwhile, several videos of the moments prior to the reported assault, and of the subsequent incident at a health center to which they were transferred, have been doing the rounds on social networks. Images and voice recordings from the videos appear to irrevocably upend the version first given by Kevin L., in his denuncia complaint before the Guardia Civil, which had led to the, alleged instigator, Rachid’s arrest last Saturday.
“All the evidence, from the images, the cameras, the videos and the testimony of the witnesses make it clear that the version that Kevin gave was not real,” explained Rachid’s lawyer Mouna Sikabi.
In the video images, widely shared, it can be clearly seen how Kevin approaches the group of teenagers, whom he rebukes and insults while he holds a bottle of vodka alcopop in one hand, which tends to cast doubt over his version, saying that he had gone out for a run, before being attacked, “by a group of 20”, while trying to defend some tourist girls who were being intimidated. Nowhere in any of the imagery can these tourists be found, nor are teenagers seen attacking or threatening the young man.
According to Rachid’s defense, in the images that quickly went viral, it can be seen clearly how Kevin L. approaches the group of teenage boys and begins to insult them, before Rachid then approaches and takes him away from the group, to talk to him, apparently in an attempt to prevent him from assaulting them. “He wanted to keep him away from the children to protect them,” Sikabi explains. According to his initial testimony, the monitor tried at all times to calm the situation and keep the minors safe.
He adds that the injuries suffered by both Kevin and Rachid are due to their both falling to the ground in an area of ​​rocks, after Kevin allegedly physically pushed Rachid first, during their confrontation, after reprimanding the teenagers who were in his charge along with the other monitor. “He tried to push him and when he fell, Rachid caught himself and they both fell,” the lawyer adds. In fact, they have various wounds on their backs. In Rachid’s case, the injuries he suffered were then increased following a further attack, allegedly perpetrated by Kevin and his brother, and clearly seen in another video widely circulated, which many people had initially understood to be Kevin allegedly under attack, however it is clear from the clothing he wore, that Kevin was not in fact the alleged victim there either. Both Kevin and his brother are also being investigated by the Guardia Civil, who have studied the video footage of this second attack which also recorded racist insults towards both Rachid and the other monitor.
“Insulted, Harassed and Pointed Out” in Premature Trial by Social Media
Since the claims and videos were repeatedly shared across social media, including by political groups of a particular persuasion, widespread threats, insults and harassment has been occuring, aimed at Rachid and towards the other monitor, herself only 21 years of age, who witnessed and recorded the scenes. They say the intensity of the hatred expressed is such that they will likely take legal action to ensure it does not result in further physical or online intimidation. “They have been insulted, harassed and pointed out on social networks. This is all very sad, ” the lawyer added. Those most responsible for the wider sharing of many inaccurate statements regarding the images have even publicly identified the young woman on social networks, publishing her personal details and data and declaring her also to be unfit as an educator, and a social health professional, among many other outrageous insults.
Threats to public safety reached their climax last Saturday when at least fifty individuals took it upon themselves to gather at one of the, otherwise, empty tourist apartment complexes where a number of recently arrived migrants, in no way involved in the original events, have been staying temporarily, while they await transfer to other more suitable accommodation. “A hoax has generated a very sad and dangerous situation,” emphasised the lawyer.
Rachid has denounced and filed charges against Kevin L and his brother for their alleged aggression, to which he was subjected, at the health centre. His denuncia (complaint) has been included in the same legal proceedings, now in the hands of the Court of Instruction number 1 in San Bartolomé de Tirajana. They too will request precautionary protection measures for Rachid and the other monitor in order to safeguard them from further intimidation.
The full facts of the case are expected to be revealed in January, when all the evidence is to be heard in court.


The Canary News

Murder trial underway in Las Palmas over strangulation of disabled homeless man in Playa del Inglés

A wheelchair-bound homeless man, Stefan Putreanu, 61, was strangled and his body burned at an unused kiosk where he used to sleep in Playa del Inglés last year.  The man accused of his murder, known only as Ali GG, has denied any involvement in the killing during the dramatic first days of his murder trial, which started on Monday before a jury in Las Palmas.
Turkish born Ali GG, of Spanish nationality, is accused of having strangled the disabled vagrant and then set his body on fire at the abandoned kiosk, on January 11, 2019, but has denied that he was ever at the scene of the crime.
“I have not killed anyone,” said Ali GG, 44, during the first session of the trial against him and his girlfriend, Roberta S, who face, up to 18 years in prison for the crime of murder.
Ali GG. admits that he only knew Putreanu because he claims that the homeless man had stabbed him back in 2017, at a bar; and because he used to pass the kiosks on his way to the shopping centre where he worked selling tourist excursions.
Cameras captured images of the accused man passing near the kiosk at around 9am that morning.  “They are accusing me of something I have not done,” said Ali GG, whose lawyer, Javier de la Llave, presented expert evidence alleging, in his opinion, that it takes from four to five minutes to strangle and kill a person, which does not fit well with the video footage which, says the lawyer, would have only given his client about 40 seconds in which to commit the crime.
Furthermore, the autopsy report recorded the likely time of death at between 12.30pm and 5pm that day, however his client had been recorded passing the kiosk more than 3 hours before that, without any reason to believe he had returned there.  Ali GG.’s lawyer also points to an utter lack of DNA or other evidence placing his client at the scene, stressing that his client was not the the only person who passed through that area on the day and yet because of the previous altercation it seems his client as now seen “as a scapegoat” for a crime he says he did not commit.
The prosecutor maintains that there is a chain of evidence that “undoubtedly” points to the accused having carried out the killing, alleging that the he arrived at about 09:00 on January 11, 2019, at the abandoned kiosks, in the Parque Europeo in Playa del Inglés, where the man used to sleep at night, and strangled him, without the man having any possibility of defending himself as he was lying down and not wearing his orthopedic prostetic legs.
According to the prosecutor, hours later, that afternoon, the accused, accompanied by his partner of Irish nationality, Roberta S., who was also arrested on suspicion of being an accomplice to murder, and both of whom lived in San Fernando, returned to the scene and in order to erase the traces of his crime, they say he sprayed the body with alcohol, or another accellerant, and set it on fire, while she watched out in case anyone else appeared.
During the second day of the trial, yesterday, several witnesses seemed to cast doubt on the prosecution case, testifying that they had seen Putreanu in an agitated state, but very much alive, that same afternoon, around 2pm and 5pm.  One witness claims he saw another person rifling through the homeless man’s possessions, but that he did not recognise him as the accused.  Another says he saw a tall man spraying liquid where the fire started, and leaving the scene by jumping over a wall, saying too that he did not think this was Ali GG.
Ali GG’s son also gave evidence that the police had been coercive, but that his father was not a violent man.
The trial continues.