Jaume Matas arriving at the courts this morning. | M. A. Cañellas


Former president of the Balearics, Jaume Matas, this morning exercised his right to silence and opted not to declare to the court in Palma which is hearing testimonies related to the investigation into the alleged attempt to fix the tender for the contract to build Son Espases hospital.

Faced once more by investigating judge, José Castro, and chief anti-corruption prosecutor in the Balearics, Pedro Horrach, Matas declined to respond to questioning regarding the award of the contract when he was president from 2003 to 2007. Specifically, he is said to have shown favour to the bid of OHL, head of which is one-time national minister, Juan Miguel Villar Mir (who is to appear tomorrow), for a contract that was valued in 2006 at 635 million euros but which eventually cost some 150 million more.

It has been suggested that Matas is seeking to broker a deal with the prosecution and has offered to reveal who from the national Partido Popular was supposedly giving him orders to favour OHL. Following Matas's non-declaration, however, prosecutor Horrach said that there were no negotiations with the former president regarding various investigations. "There is no agreement with Sr. Matas in any sense," Horrach stated.

Matas entered the court around 11.30am and left some twenty minutes later.