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Madrid police chief jailed for trying to influence witness testimony

“Sheriff of Coslada” alleged to have run police mafia ring in suburb

The police chief in the Madrid municipality of Coslada, Ginés Jiménez, has been sent back to prison for 18 months by a Madrid criminal court for the crime of obstructing the course of justice.

Jiménez, known as the “Sheriff of Coslada” for his involvement in a massive police corruption racket broken up in 2008 and that resulted in the arrest of around 30 officers including the police chief, was found guilty of trying to influence a witness who was to testify against in the so-called Coslada case against the ring, which has been described as a police mafia and was charged with corruption, blackmail, threatening behavior, prostitution, bribery and causing injury.

The prosecutor’s report stated that the witness received a call a few days before she was due in court and was offered a job. Two days later, the same caller told her she would have to retract all of the accusations against the Coslada police. When the witness met with Jiménez in a bar in San Fernando de Henares, Jiménez had little idea that she had already alerted the Drugs and Organized Crime unit of the National Police and was carrying a recorder in her pocket.

Jiménez’s lawyer, Óscar Zein, said that his client was innocent and that the court had not taken into account “the complete absence of violence or intimidation that the crime for which he has been condemned demands, the invalidity of the evidence obtained without authorization and the contradictory evidence of the witness.”

Zein added that he believed the tape had been manipulated and noted that the original had never been handed over to the court.

Prosecutors had sought four years for Jiménez but the judge reduced the sentence on the understanding that Jiménez had tried to influence the witness without intimidation. Jiménez said he intends to appeal his conviction in regional High Court of Madrid.