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STAFF REPORTER A judge overseeing the Palma Arena corruption case has imposed a further bail demand of 1.6 million euros on ex Balearic President Jaume Matas for his alleged role in the so-called Opera House scandal.

The Public Prosecutor has demanded that investigation be made into misappropriation of public funds for the contracting of architect Santiago Calatrava for the design of the Palma Bay Opera House. A public presentation of the project ran up costs of 1.2 million euros. The judge also said that once the implication in the case of Balearic MP Francesc Fiol (ex Partido Popular Education Minister in Matas' government) has been confirmed, the issue of the contracting of Calatrava can be referred to the Balearic High Court.

Defence lawyers for Matas claimed yesterday that the Prosecution case was based on suspicion and conjecture and as such could not form the basis for criminal proceedings. Matas is standing firm over his contracting of Calatrava, which he claims was done with the knowledge of the Balearic government.