Tuesday, October 18, 2022

The government-private sector revolving door

 The Central Military Court in Madrid now has only one member, the interim president, General Francisco Luis Pascual Sarria.  On October 8, 2022, the other member on the Court went into retirement, General Rafael Eduardo Matamoros Martinez, as a third member had done earlier, in July, General Alfredo Fernandez Benito.

The press learned that General Rafael Matamoros (photo) has begun to work with one of the principal law firms in Spain that dedicates itself to Military Criminal Law.  The Suarez-Valdez law firm is headed by the lawyer Antonio Suarez-Valdes.  It is worth pointing out that General Matamoros reached the highest level in the military legal field, equivalent to the rank of Division General.

General Matamoros was not required to request authorization to join the law firm from the Ministry of Defense.  The former member of the Central Military Court was President of that body but has become an independent lawyer since his retirement because of age.  The law firm concluded that his retirement put an end to his professional services for the Armed Forces and he is no longer subject to the general regime of rights and duties of the members of the Armed Forces nor the criminal laws and military discipline.  Consequently he did not need to seek authorization from the Ministry of Defense to carry out legal activities in collaboration with the Suarez-Valdez law firm.

General Matamoros issued many judgments when he was on the Court and military sources question whether there is a conflict of interest in a member of the Central Military Court joining the law firm in which Antonio Suarez-Valdez was the lawyer defending one of the parties.

It was explained by the Suarez-Valdes law firm that none of the parties -- not the firm nor the General -- are considering the professional collaboration of Rafael Matamoros in matters in which he played a role while a member of the Central Military Court, since that is prohibited under Spanish law.

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