Murcia mayor held for corruption as probe snowballs

30th November 2007, Comments 0 comments

30 November 2007, Madrid - Civil Guard officers on Thursday arrested the Popular Party mayor of the town of Totana, Murcia, along with the local police chief and a municipal secretary, in the latest probe into corruption in the real estate sector implicating politicians and businessmen.

30 November 2007

Madrid - Civil Guard officers on Thursday arrested the Popular Party mayor of the town of Totana, Murcia, along with the local police chief and a municipal secretary, in the latest probe into corruption in the real estate sector implicating politicians and businessmen.

A total of five people were arrested in raids yesterday in Totana, bringing to 11 the number of people detained so far in the investigation, dubbed Operation Totem by police.

They include Totana Mayor José Martínez Andreo and his predecessor Juan Morales, now a representative of the Popular Party in Murcia's regional assembly.

The mayors, along with a network of civil servants, are accused of receiving substantial backhanders from local construction firms for contracts and of illegally reclassifying 2,000 hectares of land in the municipality in order to make way for a golf course, hotel and 5,000 new homes.

In addition, a local businessman who is also in custody, Pedro Martínez, stands accused of paying Town Hall officials €6.1 million in exchange for Morales agreeing to reclassify more than a million square meters of land so he could build 1,784 homes.

The suspects, who also include Morales' ex-wife and his current partner, have been charged with crimes ranging from bribery and misappropriation of funds to money laundering.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. 2007]

Subject: Spanish news

 

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