STAFF REPORTER

PALMA
BALEARIC government spokesperson, Joana Barcelo, yesterday confirmed that the former secretary of Ibatur, the Balearic Tourism Institute, and the director general of the Ib-Blau nautical tourism promotion body, Miguel Angel Bonet, has been sacked following his arrest in connection with the alleged mishandling of public funds.

Bonet was arrested by members of the National Police fraud squad at Ibatur's Palma head office on Thursday.
He is suspected of having mismanaged 20'000 euros of public funding and falsified documents between 2006 and 2007 under the previous conservative Partido Popular government and yesterday afternoon, appeared before a preliminary court hearing. Barcelo said that Bonet has been sacked on the instigation of the Balearic Minister for Tourism, Miguel Nadal.

Yesterday, the PP government's former Minister for Tourism, Joan Flaquer, on whose watch the alleged offenses were committed, expressed his surprise at Bonet's arrest.

Flaquer said that he had absolutely no idea that Bonet's department had been issuing allegedly false bills. “As a whole, we issue mountains of bills and there was n o way of knowing the content of them all. I neither controlled nor supervised the bills,” he said.

Flaquer added that Bonet did not occupy an important role in the Jaume Matas-led government and said that it was “logical and normal” that Nadal demanded that he be sacked.