THE two men at the centre of the alleged building corruption scandal in Andratx, the former Mayor, Eugenio Hidalgo, and his municipal planning inspector, Jaume Gibert, were yesterday released from Palma prison on bail. The two men, who were arrested 17 days ago along with the Balearic Director General for Planning Jaume Massot, who was released from custody after three days with charges, walked out of Palma prison accompanied by their lawyers just after 4.30pm. Bail was set at 100'000 euros for Hidalgo and 60'000 for Gibert.
The ex-conservative Partido Popular mayor had little to say to the awaiting press just a simple “happy fiestas.” However, Hidalgo and Gibert still face seven charges relating to the alleged re-classification of land in exchange for bribes and money laundering.
Both Hidalgo and Gibert have denied the charges.
They have also been warned not to tamper with or destroy any evidence or documents believed to be important to the case or they will be slung straight back in jail. The judge presiding over the case suggested ten days ago that by now, he would have expected the investigation to have advanced much further than it actually has. The past two weeks have been dogged by a political war of words, with the PP under intense pressure, over the alleged scandal with some opposition parties calling on the Balearic president, Jaume Matas, to resign. What is more, the investigation has been seriously hampered by claims that important documents were destroyed before the arrests were made after a “mole” tipped the suspects off about the pending swoop made by the Guardia Civil serious fraud squad on Monday, November 27. Investigators found a waste bin full of shredded documents near Andratx Town hall just days after the operation was launched while Interpol have also been brought in to help.

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