Monday, 21 September 2009

Juan Carlos Benavides faces a possible payout of more than 30,000 Euro over comments he made about a Socialist councillor

The Convergencia Andaluza Mayor of Almuñécar, Juan Carlos Benavides, faces a posible payout of tens of thousands of euros in a slander case which will be heard by Criminal Court No. 1 in Motril in December.The case comes to court after legal action taken by the Socialist Party’s former spokesperson at the Town Hall, Rocío Palacios, over insulting comments the Mayor made about her during a council meeting on 31st January 2006. Benavides suggested at the meeting that Palacios had climbed the political ladder only because of an ‘intimate relationship’ he claimed she had with her party’s provincial secretary, Francisco de la Chica.He also called her a ‘zorra’ – a tart.The prosecution service sees the Mayor’s words as seriously affecting the two Socialist politicians’ family lives, as the press, as they are for each council meeting, were present at the Town Hall meeting. EFE reports the Mayor faces a possible fine of 21,600 € and, in addition to that, 10,000 € compensation to the two politicians.The controversy over the insult led the Mayor to resign from the Partido Andalucista over what he said was a lack of support from provincial party leadership, joining, with most of his P.A. councillors, the new party, Convergencia Andaluza, in March 2006.

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