Camps' defense changes tack in attempt to shelve trial

Valencia premier now argues he accepted free suits, but only in capacity as party chief

IGNACIO ZAFRA Valencia 13 JUL 2011 - 21:34 CET

Following the testimony of Francisco Ferre, the IT employee at the tailor's shop Forever Young, who said that he doctored company accounts to erase the name of Francisco Camps, the Popular Party regional premier of Valencia has changed tack in his defense against charges of accepting bribes when allegedly receiving gifts from the Gürtel corruption network.

At the preliminary hearing into the so-called "suits case," Camps' lawyer maintained that his client had not received anything from the Gürtel ring.

But Camps' defense is now plowing a different furrow, saying that he accepted suits worth just over 14,000 euros, according to anti-corruption prosecutors, in his capacity as PP leader in the Valencia region and not as head of the regional government.

If this legal ploy succeeds, Camps will avoid trial over the suits, but his credibility will be less than threadbare. He has always publicly asserted he paid for the suits, and in spite of wiretaps to the contrary, firmly denied a friendship with Álvaro Pérez, an alleged ringleader of Gürtel.

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