Guardia Civil at the headquarters of the Balearic Ports Authority on Friday. | Pere Bota

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All five of the Balearic Ports Authority's senior directors who were arrested on Thursday have been released on charges. They include the president, Joan Gual de Torrella. Individual charges are defrauding the public administration, embezzlement and "prevaricación"; the latter, for which it is difficult to give a direct, single-word translation in English, refers to public servants who make arbitrary decisions, knowing them to be unjust.

As well as those who were arrested, Dolores Ripoll, the head of Spain's Attorney-General's office in the Balearics, is under investigation in connection with the corruption allegations. She is the ports authority's legal adviser.

With searches having been carried out in Palma and also in Ibiza and Mahon, the Guardia Civil now have documentation that will be analysed for signs of potential corruption in respect of tenders, contracts and port management.