The trial of a Russian Member of Parliament, Vladislav Reznik, and 17 other suspects started in Madrid’s National Court on Monday.
A number of the suspects are thought to have links to the Kremlin. Mr. Reznik is a member of President Putin’s United Russia party.
The suspects were arrested in 2008, charged with a €50m money-laundering operation linked to Spanish real estate. If found guilty, the suspects are looking at a €100m penalty and five years in jail.
The suspects are linked to the Russian Tambovskaya-Malyshevskaya gang, based in St Petersburg. The syndicate is linked to contract killings, forgery, arms and drug trafficking. The leaders of the syndicate, Gennady Petrov and Alexander Malyshev, are still at large in Russia. Petrov was among those arrested in 2008 in Spain but was able to escape.
One of the accused, Mikhail Rebo, has struck a deal with the prosecutors and will testify in exchange for a reduced sentence.