Son Espases has been under the spotlight for a number of years. | R.L.

Anti-corruption prosecutor Pedro Horrach has described the process of awarding the contract for the construction of Son Espases hospital as the largest public “perversion” ever in the Balearics.
The initial budget for the hospital was 778 million euros, and Horrach has now presented charges against the former president of the Balearics, Jaume Matas, an ex-health minister, Aina Castillo, the one-time treasurer of the regional Partido Popular, Matas’s brother-in-law Fernando Areal, and Juan Miguel Villar Mar, finance minister in King Juan Carlos’s government  immediately following Franco’s death and the owner of the construction company OHL.
The charges relate to allegations that the contract was to have been rigged and specify alleged fraud, corruption and forgery against those named and others.
Following months of investigative work by the National Police fraud squad, Horrach has registered the charges with the  court, with Judge José Castro, on account of his special duties for corruption cases, taking the instruction for the case against Matas and seven others in total.
Horrach is calling the way that the contract was to be rigged as an “archetypal model” used by Matas in that  he used subordinates to implement decisions while at the same time attempting to hide who was pulling the strings.
Matas could depend, Horrach alleges, on “complacent puppets”, one of whom was Aina Castillo. She confessed to the public prosecutor last year that Matas had ordered that OHL be favoured in the award of the contract, which in the end it didn’t get. Horrach argues that Villar Mar and others at OHL had to have been complicit in a scheme to ensure that OHL gained the contract ahead of the consortium headed by the company Dragados, which was eventually awarded the contract.  The tender assessment, pre-agreed it is implied, scored OHL three points above Dragados.
But when it came out in the press that OHL was going to receive the contract (on the same day as the award was going to be made), Matas, it is claimed, attempted to cover his tracks by suspending the tender process and referring the matter to the Consultative Council, a body which advises and can also arbitrate on legal issues of government. This was done, the prosecution believes, in order to establish a veneer of legality.
The prosecution is also implying that the PP nationally knew what was happening. Mariano Rajoy had long been a friend of Villar Mar. And when the Dragados consortium was finally awarded the contract, there was supposedly anger at PP HQ.
In addition to what Horrach has referred to as the “pantomime” nature of the award process, the prosecutor and Castro are going to be looking at whether bribes and favours were involved in what ultimately was a failed attempt to fix the award.