Palma.—The move came yesterday as a top court responded to demands made last week by the Bank of Valencia which had provided Matas with a loan of 3 million euros to pay a bail demand.

The sum had enabled Matas to remain out of prison whilst court hearings into his alleged implication in the Palma Arena corruption scandal continued. The judicial process has been long and drawn out due to the complexity of the case which has reportedly been broken down into as many as 20 separate areas of investigation.

A spokesman for the Palma court confirmed that not only has it sealed off Matas' Palma residence known as the palacete or “little palace” in an allusion to its luxurious interior, but also another home that he owns in La Rambla and a commercial centre in Calle Sant Miquel.

Not only does Matas owe the original 3 million euros bail money but also a further one million which has accrued in interest and costs, judicial sources alleged.

A family affair
In fact, the corruption scandal has become something of a family affair because the wife of Matas, Maite Areal is also implicated in the Palma Arena case as the co-owner of the palacete located in the historic city centre in Calle Sant Felio. The ex President's mother is also under investigation as she is the co-owner of the property impounded in Calle Sant Miquel.

When Matas appeared before the judge in the Palma Arena case, Jose Castro in March of 2010, the ex -President admitted that he did not declare all of the monthly rental which he received from the property in Calle Sant Miquel and that this tax evasion enabled him to use 400'000 euros to refurbish the palacete. Thus, through his lawyers and despite the fact that he was aware that the practice was illegal, Matas was in fact denying that he had used public funds from the Palma Arena velodrome project to reform the property in Calle Sant Felio.

At the time of his taking the loan from the bank of Valencia to pay his bail demand, it was made clear to Matas that if he were unable to repay the loan under the terms and conditions of the bank, his property would go up for public auction. If the price agreed failed to reach the minimum return demanded by the bank, then the bank would be free to sell off any interior fixtures, fittings and furniture within Matas' property.

Luxurious lifestyle
During the course of the two-day hearing last year, Judge Castro had said that one of the main lines of investigation that auditors had been following was the fact that the luxurious lifestyle which was being led by Matas when he was still Partido Popular President in the Balearics didn't tally with the income he received as regional leader
Around 50 million euros of public money remained unaccounted for after the construction of the Palma Arena.

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