Monday, May 23, 2016

The Land Of Lawyers

Are there more lawyers per head of population in Mallorca than anywhere else in the Western world. It can seem as though there are, and their number is only matched or surpassed by architects.

One of these lawyers is Manuel González Peeters. He is defending the former business partner of Princess Cristina's hubby at the interminable Nóos trial. A week or so ago, he described a witness at the trial - one-time justice minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón - as an idiot.

Whether he is or he isn't is irrelevant, but court protocol and all that demands a degree of civility. González Peeters was thus himself hauled before the protocol beakery and asked to explain himself. He did so by arguing that, in the Bible, Luke had used idiot to mean someone who doesn't listen and that many popes have used the same word for the same reason. So that was that cleared up then.

Meanwhile, someone who isn't a lawyer but a judge, no less than Judge Dredd - José Castro pursuer of ex-Balearic president Matas, Princess Cristina's hubby and indeed the princess herself - was letting it be known that while he was investigating what resulted in Cristina's appearance at the trial, her lawyer, Miguel Roca, had requested a "discreet" meeting.

"I didn't ask what the agenda would be, as it was obvious that Sr. Roca and I had no other issue in common than Doña Cristina de Borbón," explained the judge. The meeting never took place, but the implication of the proposed meeting raised, how might one put it, certain suspicions.

Sr. Roca, when it comes to the making of the film of the trial, will be played by Ian Richardson, he of "House Of Cards" fame. Or would be if he (Richardson) wasn't dead. The likeness is, nonetheless, striking. And as part of the script for the film will be Sr. Roca's denial of there having been such a proposed meeting.

Judge Dredd, it might be recalled, had a falling-out with the chief anti-corruption prosecutor, the lawyer Pedro Horrach, over Cristina. Horrach said there was no case. Dredd said there was and so opened the way to what has amounted to a private prosecution by Manos Limpias.

This so-called union has since come under investigation because of allegations that it was extorting money from those it intended to prosecute. Pay up and the cases would be dropped. One such example was the princess. Allegedly. Manos Limpias is saying it didn't seek such remuneration. Sr. Roca, among others, insists that it did. The National Police, meanwhile, have said that there was what appeared to be a "common strategy" in respect of these claims against Manos Limpias, as in "denuncias" from Sr. Roca and two banks - Caixa and Sabadell - were lodged on 29 and 30 March. Were they a coincidence?

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