Palma.—While the trial of former Balearic President Jaume Matas continues in the Balearic High Court for allegedly paying his speech writer inflated amounts of money and with public funds during his tenure as President, the Palma court announced yesterday that his famous “palacete” (small palace) as his city centre mansion has become known, is to be auctioned this week. Matas is at the centre of the Palma Arena corruption case and the current hearing is one of a total 26 relating to the suspicious construction of the velodrome which went 50 million euros plus over budget.

But, while Matas waits for the judge to sum up and reach a verdict on this first hearing at the end of this month, his 400 square metre mansion in Calle San Feliu is to be auctioned off on Wednesday to help cover the loan he took out from the Banco de Valencia to cover his bail which was initially set at three million but then reduced to 2.5 million euros. Matas bought the city centre property for 950'000 euros and totally reformed it, although the tax office has valued the property at 2.5 million euros.

A property the former President owns on the Ramblas and a business premises he also owns in calle Sant Miguel will also be auctioned on the same day in a bid to raise the money he still owes the Banco Valencia.

However, as of yesterday, nobody has apparently shown any interest in any of the three buildings which could leave Matas in a very difficult position facing possible legal action from the Banco de Valencia.

Or, the bank will quite simply foreclose on Matas and take possession of the three properties for future sale.

High profile
The Palma Arena case is one of the most high profile corruption cases in recent years and not only does it involve a former President of the Balearics and Spanish Minister for the Environment but also the Duke of Palma, Iñaki Urdangarin.

Matas is currently facing a possible eight and a half year jail term if found guilty at the end of this first hearing with another 26 to go and the former Balearic President at the centre of them all.


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