Ex-minister cleared by court
Valencia’s Carmen Montón ‘did not commit a criminal offence’
By Alex Watkins THE JUDGE investigating exhealth minister Carmen Montón over irregularities to do with her Master’s degree has shelved the case.
Also the former health councillor in the Valencia region, she was accused of bribery and corruption when an anonymous accusation was received by the court after online newspaper eldiario.es published allegations that she had copied some of her thesis from authors she had not credited and did not attend all the classes at Rey Juan Carlos university in Madrid.
Judge Carmen RodríguezMedel ruled there was no evidence of any criminal offence, after the provincial prosecutor had recommended no charges be brought
The prosecutor said there was no evidence that Sra Montón had not done any work, or that her marks were altered afterwards due to an agreement between her and the director of her course, Laura Nuño. Sra Montón took the course in 2010-2011 when she was just a deputy for the Socialist party (PSOE), at the university’s public law institute, then managed by Enrique Álvarez Conde.
He has been charged by the same judge in another case investigating the Master’s degree of Cristina Cifuentes, who was president of the Madrid regional government for the Partido Popular (PP) but resigned after this scandal and a video was released of her being detained in a supermarket for shoplifting. Sra Montón said she had been honest and transparent throughout and noted she had renounced her right as a public official to be tried by a higher court.
She did not comment on the evidence of plagiarism in her thesis, which the prosecutor noted could not be considered a crime in these circumstances and the window to prosecute for copyright infringement had expired.
“Her marks being changed and validated are procedures which have nothing to do with the student, for which reason students cannot be held responsible for the legality of the procedure by which they obtain their Master's,” said the prosecutor.
Sra Montón remains a national deputy for the Valencia region. Occupants of a Dénia flat were trapped inside on Saturday after two wheelie-bins on the ground floor went up in flames. Emergency services were called out to the twostorey house on the narrow old-town street known as the C/ Pare Pere at around 13.30. Two young women and their dog were indoors, and firefighters ordered them to stay put due to the risk of smoke inhalation – or worse. As the road is only about three metres (less than 10 feet) wide, the three fire engines blocked it completely for over an hour as they worked to extinguish the flames. The ground floor was left completely blackened by smoke and is likely to be inaccessible for a while. But neither the flames nor the smoke reached the second storey, meaning the girls and their pet were unharmed.