Carlos García Roldán going to court in Palma. | Pere Bota

Carlos García Roldán, known as Charly, is accused by the Prosecutor's Office of having been the mastermind behind the biggest real-estate scam ever committed in Mallorca. This involved 32 'phantom' developments, affected 146 people and has been valued at 3.3 million euros.

He faces a possible sentence of sixteen and a half years. Seven others who were charged face sentences of between three and ten years. The owner of Lujocasa, the business at the centre of the scam, the lawyer representing him argues that he had to close the business because of the threats he received. He went on the run and fled to Colombia, but the lawyer maintains that he did not hide "with the purpose of avoiding responsibilities or police investigations". "He was threatened with death by some of those who now appear in these proceedings and with total impunity."

Related news

According to the petition requesting that he be absolved, the lawyer says that García Roldán was "the victim of early punishment". Damage has already been done to all of the accused after spending almost four years in preventive detention. García Roldán was "ruined" after his arrest and by media coverage which was carried out in a "conspicuous manner" and to an extent that he was made out to be like "a dangerous terrorist".

The defence brief argues that there had been no "deceptive action" on García Roldán's behalf, rather "a mere breach of contract".

In August 2018, the Guardia Civil raided eight addresses and arrested seven people, but not García Roldán, who by then was in Colombia. He was detained in February 2019 in a joint operation involving the Colombian police and the Guardia. Extradited to Spain, he was sent to prison but has been at liberty for over a year awaiting trial.