Spain councillor charged with bribery and fraud

LAST UPDATED: 8 Mar, 2011 @ 09:26
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THE Partido Popular councillor arrested at his home near Granada, Spain has been charged with bribery, deception and fraud.

Judges in Santa Fe also charged Manuel Fernández – the chief of town planning at Alhendín council – with selling land in the Andalucia town for less than its market value before releasing him on bail.

The charges relate to the Marchalhendín industrial park, which is currently under investigation by the region’s Supreme Court. The PSOE socialist party of Granada claims Alhendín town hall sold the land to Seville based construction company Tarje for nine million euros – 16 million euros less than the value given to the land by official valuators.

The provincial socialist group also maintains work on the macro-project began without the correct documentation.

The court is also investigating the Novosur housing development, which is currently under construction on the N323 Motril-Bailen road, south of Granada. According to claims, the land on which the 1,390-home estate is being built was sold for 1.2 million euros – less than half its market value. Construction company Frai issued a statement in which the group denied the allegations.

Fernández spent almost eight hours in front of the court before being released. He now has seven days to find the 18,000-euro bail money.

According to his lawyer, the defendant denies all charges and also defends the legality of the both of the projects under suspicion.

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