Mercedes Alaya will continue as a magistrate in the Court of Seville.The judge who initially designed and instructed the macro-causes of the ERE and the training courses, among other macro-processes, has once again fallen short of achieving a position in a Central Court of Instruction of the National High Court.This is the fourth time that the Sevillian magistrate tries to make the leap to the National High Court, where matters of great relevance and media significance are investigated, such as the Gurtel or the Barcenas papers.
On this occasion, Mercedes Alaya had requested the position of the Central Court of Instruction number 1of the National High Court, which, among other outstanding matters, instructs cases of jihadism. According to several national media, Alaya was the oldest candidate of the twenty petitioners for this position until, in recent days, this position has been requested by Judge Luis Francisco de Jorge Mesas, who since April 2018 has been assigned at the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), in the Implementation Support section, Organized Crime Branch, treaty division. This judge has also been head of the International Relations service of the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ) between 2004 and 2011, and liaison magistrate of Spain in Morocco between 2011 and 2017.
Luis Francisco de Jorge Mesas entered the judicial career on December 1, 1984 and, therefore, has four years more seniority than Alaya, who entered in 1988, when he was very young; he was only 25 years old. In 1998 he joined the Investigation Court number 6 in Seville, where Alaya rose to fame for the Betis case –which ended in the acquittal of Manuel Ruiz de Lopera– and the investigation of the Mercasevilla case, from which the scandal of the ARE.

Sources from the CGPJ explained yesterday to this newspaper that, for the moment, it cannot be confirmed that the Sevillian magistrate has lost this new opportunity to take over a Central Investigation Court, to which she has aspired since 2018, given that “the term of submission of applications has not finished.
Judge Luis Francisco de Jorge Mesas entered the race four years before Alaya
In any case, and with the exception of Judge Luis Francisco de Jorge Mesas, Alaya had more seniority in the race than other magistrates who have also applied for this position in the Central Court of Instruction number 1, such as Judge Eloy Velasco, currently in the Criminal Appeals Chamber of the National High Court and who was already in charge of another central court, specifically, number 6.
Mercedes Alaya has been, again, on the verge of achieving the position on this occasion, although in the four attempts at the end there has always been a candidate older than her who stays with the court. In the judicial gossip it is commented that there is not much interest in Alaya taking over a court of this importance, which would have led in some cases to other applicants with more seniority in the race to request the places to which the magistrate has attended Seville.
The Sevillian magistrate has been trying to make the leap to Madrid for more than three years.
The last time this happened was last December, when the veteran judge of the National Court Santiago PedrazI request the change from the Central Court of Instruction number 1 to number 5, after the departure of Judge Jose de la Mata to his new post as head of the Spanish delegation of Eurojust.
The positions of the National High Court are covered by seniority in the judicial career ladder and, in this case, Pedraz had agreed four and a half years before Mercedes Alaya, who has been assigned to the Seventh Section of the High Court of Seville since year 2015, after his departure from the Court of Instruction number 6 of Seville. Mercedes Alaya, had 29 years, five months and 17 days of service in the judicial career, while Pedraz had 34 years of service. Court number 5 investigates matters related to the Barcenas papers or the well-known 3% case, among others.
In this way, Alaya has been trying to make the leap to the National High Court for more than three years, afterIn 2018, he aspired to the vacancy that Carmen Lamela had left in the Central Court number 3, finally awarded to Maria Tardon, who had more seniority than Alaya. And later, he contested the Central Court number 4, which was left by the magistrate Fernando Andreu and currently directed by Jose Luis Calama, a magistrate who occupied only two positions ahead of Alaya in the ranking.
Judge Pedraz left Alaya last December without another position in the National Court
Since the investigation of the ERE began ten years ago, Mercedes Alaya has shown that what she really likes is the instruction of the procedures, beyond celebrating trials as it does now in the Court of Seville, among other tasks.There is no doubt that Alaya, sooner or later, will end up obtaining a place in a central court of the National High Court, since the magistrate has already accumulated more than 31 years in the career, but the truth is that until now the leap has been He resists him and his teammates are not making it easy for him.

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