Palma police officers and town hall officials demanded apologies at the most recent council meeting. | Jaume Morey


The acquittal of all defendants at the mega-trial dubbed the 'Cursach case' will leave Palma town hall facing claims that run into millions of euros.

Although Tolo Cursach and the Cursach Group are perhaps best known for the ownership of BCM in Magalluf, the trial had as much, if not more to do with matters in Palma than in Calvia. A number of Palma police officers were among those accused of corruption. Costs related to these officers are the reason why the town hall will face a total bill estimated to be at least four million euros.

Legally, public officials have the right to have their administrations (Palma town hall in this instance) guarantee their legal defence if their work is shown to have been legitimate - costs have to be assumed in the event of acquittal. Palma has already had to pay out some two million euros for police officers who didn't go on trial. The payments are for legal costs and compensation for loss of earnings due to suspension.

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Fourteen officers did go to trial and were acquitted. As for legal costs, there were the years of cases being investigated as well as five months (on and off) of court sessions. Sources close to the case calculate that claims of between 100,000 and 150,000 euros per lawyer will be made; it's possible that they will be higher.

This was discussed on Thursday at a meeting of the accounts committee prior to the approval of the town hall budget for 2023, due to be given on Friday at a council session. A councillor for the opposition Partido Popular, Julio Martínez, highlighted a lack of provision for the costs in the budget. The item for legal cases is 400,000 euros, out of which there is already a commitment to pay some 250,000 euros. For Martínez, the provision is "clearly insufficient".

The finance councillor, Adrián García, pointed out that the town hall has money in its contingency funds, but this wasn't good enough for Martínez. After the meeting concluded, he stated that the coalition administration, "which participated in the lynching of the police, must now assume the costs". Mayor José Hila and the former councillor for public safety (now councillor for infrastructure), Angelica Pastor, have faced particular criticism for their handling of investigations into police officers.