The prime suspect in the murder of Palma car hire tycoon Pedro Estarellas, killed in his flat opposite the National Police station, was yesterday refused bail. Estarellas was killed two years ago, but the murder remains unsolved. In accordance with the law, after such time, unresolved cases have to be reviewed to establish if there remains sufficient grounds to hold suspects in prison. Yesterday, in the case of the prime suspect in the case in question, a Palma judge ruled against bail. Jose Maria Cervello has, according to police and the courts, admitted to having murdered Estarellas and his defence lawyer yesterday claimed that his client had no intention of fleeing justice and would attend the trial on December 9 if released. However, the judge ruled that, at least until the trial, Cervello, initially arrested along with two other men, will remain in jail. According to Cervello's statement, he spent a number of days watching the victim's flat, some 50 yards down from the National Police headquarters and above his car hire office, before breaking in one night and lying in wait for Estarellas. When the car hire tycoon opened the door to his apartment, Cervello is understood to have beaten him to death and then robbed him of the money he used to keep stashed in the apartment. The murder deeply shocked the car rental fraternity in Majorca, Pedro Estarellas had been one of the founding fathers of the industry during the early boom years of the tourist industry.


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