by Staff Reporter

ANDRATX
EUGENIO Hidalgo, the former Mayor of Andratx arrested in November 2006 on charges of planning corruption, said that he felt not only like a scapegoat, but a political prisoner, because of the treatment he has received since his arrest.

Hidalgo was arrested by the Guardia Civil at the Andratx town hall on November 27 last year accused of various offences which are being investigated by a Palma court, which has opened 68 cases over the former Mayor's activities.

In a televised interview, Hidalgo said that in Spain, he is “the only Mayor arrested by 50 Guardia Civils and handcuffed” as though he were “a dangerous criminal who could escape or attack the security forces.” He alleged that if the way in which he was arrested is studied, “one can sense how ‘the Andratx case' has been made,” and this, he added, makes him “feel like a political prisoner.” In the interview, Hidalgo denied all the charges brought against him, and said that he had been a victim of a “search and destroy operation.” He also replied to former Balearic leader Jaume Matas, who said at the time that he made a mistake when he sponsored Hidalgo's admission to the Partido Popular (PP).

Hidalgo said: “The fault is mine, not his, for supporting the PP.” The former Mayor said that at the meeting he had with Matas two days before his arrest, they only spoke of Hidalgo's desire to leave politics, and he asked for the contents of these talks, which he claims were recorded, to be published.

Hidalgo also stressed that his patrimony is now the same as what he had in 1991, when he started in politics and he claimed “In 1991, I lived in a better house than the one I have now.” Earlier this month, one of the cases against Hidalgo was suspended as the court found no signs of an offence in connection with a chalet built in an irregular manner in a protected area.

The chalet was built with a licence for minor work, but as the land was protected, the construction of a chalet was not allowed.

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