Audit Court to open inquiry into ex-chief justice’s travel expenses
European lawyers group demanding Carlos Dívar reimburse public funds spent on trips
The Audit Court announced on Friday that it will open an investigation into the travel expenses of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Carlos Dívar, who was pressured into resigning last week after it emerged that he spent nearly 29,000 euros in public money on 31 luxury weekend trips to Marbella and other Spanish destinations.
The court decided to open an inquiry after a complaint was filed against the 70-year-old Dívar by the Association of Democratic Lawyers for Europe (ADADE), a powerful legal group.
José Mariano Benítez, an ADADE lawyer, is demanding Dívar be ordered to reimburse the judiciary the full amount he spent on his trips.
Dívar, who was also president of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) legal watchdog, has denied that he used government money for personal expenses and insists that the trips he took were on official business.
Felipe García Ortiz, a member of the Audit Court, explained that the panel would investigate to see if Dívar committed any irregularities in filing his expenses.
The first complaint against Dívar was filed last month by fellow CGPJ member José Manuel Gómez Benítez with the Attorney General’s Office, which decided to drop the inquiry.