Balearic corruption case sees four arrests

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Three former regional officials and a local businessman have been arrested on corruption charges.

12 August 2008

MADRID - Police in the Balearic Islands have arrested three former regional officials, the wife of one of them and a local businessman on corruption charges.

Among the suspects are Damián Amengual, a former director of youth tourism, Juan Francisco Gosálbez, the former head of services and maintenance, and Jaime Cerdá, the youth tourism department's accountant.

During the administration of former Popular Party Premier Jaume Matas, the three men allegedly colluded to embezzle public funds and obtain bribes in several deals involving rental properties.

According to evidence presented in court Monday, Amengual used youth tourism department funds to rent an apartment from a front company owned by Gosálbez and his wife, allowing the latter to illicitly rake in EUR 54,000 a year in public funds.
In turn, local constructor Marcos Pérez Martínez was paid EUR 180,000 out of the government's coffers to renovate the apartment.

The charges against the politicians and their associates include embezzlement, bribery, dereliction of duty, document fraud and conflict of interest offenses.

The officials left office following the 2007 regional election, when voters replaced Matas' government with a coalition of Socialists and nationalists.

[El Pais / Expatica]

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