The beaches are often closed to contamination. | Pilar Pellicer

Former senior management at Palma's Emaya municipal services agency could face up to five years in prison in respect of the case to do with contaminated spills at beaches.

The prosecution service's environment division requested that the investigating judge in this case place five people under formal investigation.

One is the former president of Emaya, councillor Neus Truyol. Another is the ex-general manager of Emaya, Imma Mayol. The prosecution is pursuing a possible offence against the environment and another for misuse of funds in not having taken measures to prevent spills.

The penal code sets out different sanctions depending on the seriousness of offences. The toughest sanction is five years if natural systems are deemed to have been seriously harmed and if there was a risk of serious harm to public health.

The secrecy order that was applied to the investigation is likely to be lifted next week. With regard to alleged misuse of funds, it is claimed that investment which should have been for addressing the problem with the spills was instead used to purchase items such as new rubbish containers.