By Humphrey Carter

THE former Balearic Minister for Commerce, Energy and Industry, the opposition conservative Partido Popular MP Josep Joan Cardona, yesterday refused to comment on his appearance before a Palma judge in connection with an investigation into the misappropriation of public funds by the heads of one of the government departments his ministry was responsible for during the previous legislature.

The former head of the Balearic Consortium for Economic Development, Antonia Ordinas and her partner Isabel Rossello and the former government's Director of Industrial promotion, Kurt Viaene, are all being held on remand in Palma prison as the fraud squad continues its investigation into the alleged misuse of Economic Development Consortium public funds while Jaume Matas was President of the PP Balearic government. The judge preferred to hold the three in prison to prevent them from possibly hampering the investigation.