Wednesday, July 24, 2013

MALLORCA TODAY - Maria Antònia Munar goes to prison

The former president of the Council of Mallorca and leader of the Unió Mallorquina party, Maria Antònia Munar, will spend her first night tonight in Palma's prison. Munar, who has been found guilty of corrupt practices in two separate cases which have attracted a combined sentence of eleven and a half years, had hoped to stay out of prison for health reasons (she has had cancer), but the Palma court, who passed the second sentence yesterday, sided with prosecutors who wanted her to go to prison without waiting for appeal. The court noted that she may well have money secreted abroad, and so believed that she might be a flight risk. She also has cases pending which could result in prison sentences. Munar was not granted bail and indeed would have been unable to stand personal guarantees as most of her property and money is embargoed.

Munar's entrance into prison contrasts with yesterday's decision by the Balearics High Court to reduce a six-year sentence passed on the former president of the islands, Jaume Matas, to nine months, so meaning that he would not have to go to prison. Munar, who has three days to lodge an appeal for reconsideration of the decision for her to have enter prison, will almost certainly take an appeal to the High Court, which would then have to decide if the sentences should stand.

Munar is by far the most important politician in Mallorca to receive a jail term. There has actually been some surprise that she has been sent to prison, in light of how Matas has been treated and also in light of how in the most celebrated corruption case of the last century - that to do with the Sóller tunnel - it was "archived" and the first president of the Balearics, Gabriel Cañellas, avoided prison.

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