Staff Reporter PALMA

BUILDER Juan Serra, told a court in Palma yesterday that he was not guilty of receiving “black money” several years ago for undertaking the reform of a property belonging to the mother of ex Balearic President Jaume Matas.

The constructor was in court for 45 minutes as a witness in yesterday's hearing related to a property in the Ramblas in Palma which belonged to Matas' mother. Serra claimed that he had produced official invoices for his work which had included the obligatory VAT demand.

Separately, and more recently, Serra had carried out building work at the property in the historic centre of Palma - known infamously as the “palacete” (little palace) - which had been bought by Matas himself. The ex President is now implicated in the “Palma Arena” corruption scandal and is awaiting a full trial after having managed to find 3 million euros in bail money.

Last November, Serra who was in court in relation to the reform of Matas' property, confessed that he had received several thousand euros “in black” for his work from Matas' brother-in-law Fernando Areal, also involved in the corruption scandal.