Marbella authority wins court appeal to embargo 150 assets of Jesús Gil’s heirs

Deceased former mayor's scions ordered to stump up 100 million in compensation

Former Marbella mayor Jesus Gil fans himself in a window of Malaga's court in August 8, 2003. / STR (REUTERS)

The Marbella town council has filed a petition with the Court of Auditors to embargo 150 assets of the heirs to the estate of the former mayor of the municipality, Jesús Gil, who held the post from 1996 until 2002. A town hall spokesman, Félix Romero, said the assets comprise 43 commercial properties, six residential homes, five plots of land and 96 private parking spaces in Madrid, Marbella and Torremolinos.

The properties are registered in the name of several companies in which the children of the late Gil figure as representatives. Jesús, Miguel Ángel, Fernando and María Ángeles Gil Marín are considered to have profited from the activity of the Marbella council until 2006.

The PP-run local authority, led by Ángeles Muñoz, intends to force the scions of the controversial businessman to respond to a court order handed down in April 2011, demanding the family return 108.3 million euros irregularly transferred from the Marbella town hall's coffers to four municipal associations between 1994 and 1999.

Marbella was the scene of a massive corruption ring centered on urban planning excesses and bribery initiated under Gil's mandate, while the mayor simultaneously promoted himself as a political alternative to the major national parties and dabbled in TV entertainment. The Malaya case, as it has come to be known, involves almost 100 suspects, including two former majors, Gil's long-serving deputy Julián Muñoz and internationally renowned singer Isabel Pantoja.

The alleged ringleader of Malaya, Juan Antonio Roca, jailed since 2006, blamed the entire operation on Gil in a court appearance last October. Among those called to testify in the trial was former Marbella resident Sean Connery, who occasionally campaigned on behalf of Gil during local elections.

The Gil Marín family is the major shareholder in Atlético de Madrid, the soccer club presided over by Jesús Gil from 1987 to 2003. At one stage, the Marbella municipal authority featured as the team's shirt sponsor.

Although Gil died of a heart attack in 2004, the 2011 ruling stated that as inheritors of their father's estate, his children had also inherited his financial obligations. The same sentence ordered other former office-holders in Marbella to pay millions of euros in compensation alongside Gil's heirs. Among them was former deputy mayor Pedro Román, the subject of a second embargo order from the Court of Auditors. Romero said that the combined worth of the assets targeted in the court orders against the Gil Marín family and Román would cover "a large part of the more than 100 million euros" embezzled by the corrupt politicians.

Among the assets to be seized from Román are an airplane, a helicopter, 41 country properties and shares in a mercantile association.

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