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Spain’s Anticorruption chief quits over Panama off-shore firm

Manuel Moix owns 25% of an off-shore company in Panama

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01 June 2017 01:37 PM

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ACN

Madrid (ACN).- Manuel Moix, the head of Spain's anticorruption office resigned on Thursday after it was revealed that he owns 25% of an off-shore company in Panama. Moix presented his resignation to the Spanish General Prosecutor, José Manuel Maza, after both the Spanish government and the Association of Prosecutors withdrew their support. Moix was already under fire for his role in 'Operation Lezo', an anticorruption case against Ignacio González, the former president of Madrid’s regional government. Moix had allegedly tried to sideline two prosecutors and stop searches in González’ offices until he was forced by the Bureau of Anticorruption Prosecutors to authorize the operations. The anticorruption chief, who had been in office just since February, 2017, was condemned by the Spanish Parliament which accused him of "maneuvering to block some judicial cases against corruption".

The Spanish General Prosecutor said in comments to the press that Moix was innocent but that he accepted his resignation for "personal reasons". "We discussed his situation and analyzed the information about his behavior and I have been able to confirm that he did not commit any illegality or irregularity. There were not even any incompatibilities" in his work and his off-shore company, he said. "There were no reasons to ask him to resign," the General Prosecutor insisted, adding, however, that he could "not force someone who claims personal reasons to stay in his post". "That is why I accepted his resignation," he concluded.

  • “Manuel Moix maneuvered to block some judicial cases”

    Spanish Parliament

A controversial figure

Manuel Moix had only been in his job as head of the anticorruption office of the prosecution since February, 2017, but his term was already proving highly controversial. He was promoted to head of the anticorruption office even though the association of progressive prosecutors warned that he was quoted in the investigations into Ignacio González, the former president of the Madrid region who is now in prison for corruption. A conversation between González and the former PP minister Eduardo Zaplano leaked to the press showed that they celebrated his nomination as head of anticorruption.

On Tuesday, it was revealed that he owns 25% of an off-shore company in Panama. The Spanish President, Mariano Rajoy, said that he still trusted him, but on Wednesday Vice President Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría and the Minister of Justice, Rafael Catalá, stopped defending him suggesting that whether or not he stayed in his post depended on whether or not he still maintained the trust of the General Prosectuor, Mr Maza. 

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  • In the centre, Spain's Anticorruption chief, Manuel Moix (by ACN)

  • In the centre, Spain's Anticorruption chief, Manuel Moix (by ACN)