Tolo Cursach arriving at court this morning.


Bartolomé Cursach, the head of the Cursach Group and known as the "king of the night" because of his empire of clubs, has been ordered to be detained in prison by investigating judge, Manuel Penalva.

Cursach arrived at the court in Palma shortly before eleven this morning. Two Cursach senior executives, Tolo Sbert and Antoni Bergas, arrested along with Cursach on Tuesday, were also in court. All three were advised by their lawyers to say nothing and so exercised their right to silence and did not make statements.

The anti-corruption prosecutor, Miguel Ángel Subirán, called for Cursach and Sbert to be held in prison without the offer of bail. It is understood that the prosecution will be seeking a sentence of more than twenty years for Cursach, claiming that he directed a criminal organisation in Majorca that controlled the island's nightlife sector and generated tens of millions of euros in profit.

Sbert has also been sent to prison, while Bergas has been released on condition that he reports to the court every Monday.

Charges levelled at Cursach are bribery, extortion, threats, coercion, use of inside information, belonging to a criminal organisation, crimes against the Hacienda, money laundering, trafficking of influence, homicide, corruption of minors, crimes against workers' rights, document falsification, procedural fraud, providing false evidence and the illegal possession of arms.

Among evidence provided to the prosecution is a statement by a former employee who worked as a bouncer at a Playa de Palma club. He has apparently testified that Tolo Sbert controlled the money side of a drug-trafficking operation. There has, for many years, been speculation about the Cursach Group and drugs.

The charge of homicide, though no details have been given, may well relate to the death of a trusted employee a few months ago. This was supposedly because of a drugs overdose, but there are suspicions surrounding the death that the National Police are investigating.