Sunday, 13 December 2009

Málaga stop calling the Cathedral ‘La Manquita’.


The Bishop of Málaga, Jesús Catalá, has called on the people of the city to stop calling the Cathedral ‘La Manquita’.The popular name translates as ‘The Cripple’ as comes as the second right hand tower of the building was never completed because of a lack of money in 1782. The money put aside to finish the Cathedral was spent elsewhere, building the roads to Vélez-Málaga and Antequera. The Bishop has now said that many other parts of the Cathedral were not completed either, not just the tower, and so he considers the name inappropriate. He has now called for a report to be drawn up on finally completing the building. The report will be ready in the first quarter of next year, when it will be presented to the Junta de Andalucía as the start of the process to look for funding.

swapping child pornography images online.

Guardia Civil investigation has led to the arrest of 15 people across the country, including an employee at a juvenile care centre, for allegedly swapping child pornography images online. Another four people have been questioned as suspects in the case.The investigation began after a member of the public contacted local police in Pamplona to inform officers that a music file he had downloaded from the Internet turned out to be a file containing child pornography. The enquiries into the case were passed on to the Civil Guard, who EFE reports have seized thousands of images in the 21 property searches which took place.The items impounded include 60 computers, 24 mobile phones, 160 hard discs, and more than 1,000 CDs. The paedophile content found is understood to be the equivalent of 12 terabytes – more than 12 million megabytes

Socialist Mayor of Estepona, David Valadez, has been indicted on real estate irregularities.


Socialist Mayor of Estepona, David Valadez, has been indicted on real estate irregularities. The Mayor, who was elected himself to replace the previous Mayor, Antonio Barientos, who is implicated in the Astapa corruption case based in the Town Hall, said that he was relaxed about the news and that he had always acted strictly within the law.It’s understood the new charges come in connection with a house built on rustic land by his chief of staff, Luciano Sánchez. The allegations are failure to pursue planning crimes and perversion of the course of justice.
Reports indicate the municipal surveyor, José Antonio Molina, is also a suspect in the caseIt follows a complaint presented to the Málaga prosecution service by the former Partido Estepona councillor, Juan Manuel Rodríguez, concerning a 115 square metre property built on land which Sánchez and his wife inherited in la Loma de la Pontezuela in 2004. He is reported to have declared when registering the property as a new build in 2007 that it had been built more than 5 years previously, with a certificate to that end issued by José Antonio Molina.El Mundo however reports that National Geographic Institute aerial images taken of the area in 2004 show there to be no construction on the site.El País reports on Thursday however that the Mayor started legal action against the illegal property a month before the complaint was presented by the prosecution service.The case is under investigation by Court No. 4 in Estepona.

collapse of the Trampolin Hills golf resort in Campos del Río

100 or so of the hundreds of clients affected by the collapse of the Trampolin Hills golf resort in Campos del Río gathered at the site on Saturday in a protest to demand their money back and for those responsible to be sent to prison. The first of the more than 2,500 units planned at the resort were sold four years ago, but none were ever completed.It’s affected clients in Spain, the UK and Ireland, amongst other countries, and it’s understood from La Opinión de Murcia that a group of those affected have made a formal request in writing to a court in Mula to ask that the two owners – Antonio Martínez and Rafael Aguilera – be imprisoned for fraud amounting to 60 million €. Joaquín Guzmán, a lawyer who represents many of the investors concerned, said he believes the two owners could attempt to flee Spain or to destroy evidence.The company is now in administration, but sources at the Grupo Trampolín told the newspaper that they believe the project will still go ahead. They said a way will be sought to pay those who want their money back, but have proposed to some of the purchasers the idea of forming a cooperative to allow the urbanisation to be built. There was no indication of the response to their proposal.
Trampolín Hills was recently fined the amount of 350,000 € for failing to put in place a bank guarantee for their investors. Such a guarantee is required under Spanish law to cover refunds for unfinished properties.

Frankie Weber 25 year old Martial Arts expert is wanted in connection with the stabbing of three people in a street fight in Marbella

Frankie Weber was in prison on the Costa del Sol last night accused of three attempted murders.Frankie Weber, 25, from London, is alleged to have fled to Gibraltar after stabbing three Spaniards in a street fight in Marbella.
He was returned to Spain where he now faces trial. Spanish police said the wounded were only saved by swift action by medics.25 year old Martial Arts expert is wanted in connection with the stabbing of three people in a street fight in Marbella
A British man has been extradited from Gibraltar to Spain to face charges of three attempted homicides.The 25 year old is accused of trying to carry out the homicides in Marbella, and the extradition comes as a result of a request made by Instruction Court Two in the town. The court has now ordered the suspect to be held in prison on remand.The case dates back to the early hours of January 24 this year when Spanish National Police were called to a fight in the Plaza de los Olivos in Marbella, which resulted in one very serious stabbing and two more suffering serious stab wounds. The most seriously hurt has had to undergo several surgeries. Police found many large knives at the suspect’s home and established that he had fled to Gibraltar. The agents from the UDEV Specialist Violent Crime Unit describe the suspect, who is an expert in martial arts, as ‘very dangerous’. They say a 30cm long machete was found in a nearby rubbish bin shortly after the aggression, which they believe he dumped during his escape.

Wednesday, 9 December 2009

owners of illegal property in Catral, Alicante, have said that they will not pay monies demanded of them to make their homes legal

owners of illegal property in Catral, Alicante, have said that they will not pay monies demanded of them to make their homes legal, and have called a protest. They say the amounts demanded, for infrastructure and basic services, are ‘excessive and unjust’ because they purchased their properties in good faith without knowing that the builders were selling them illegally.The owners of more than 1,300 houses built illegally on the traditional orchard land in Catral say that the local Town Hall and Generalitat regional government are to blame for the situation as neither stopped the construction in 2002 when the situation was highlighted by Seprona, the environmental wing of the Guardia Civil.Between the years 2000 and 2005 thousands of people, most of them British, bought property in the area through real estate offices who said that clearly that the builders had obtained all the correct licences.The demonstration has been called for 11am on Wednesday outside the Catral Ayuntamiento.

Spanish woman of gypsy origin after she was denied a widow’s pension by the Spanish state.


European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg has agreed, six votes to one, with a Spanish woman of gypsy origin after she was denied a widow’s pension by the Spanish state. It ruled that article 14 which prohibits discrimination, and article 1 on the protection of property of the European Convention on Human Rights had both been violated.The Spanish Government has said that her marriage, under the gyspey rites at the age of 15, was not valid in law.But despite the fact that gypsy weddings are not legal in Spain the court in Strasbourg recognised the arguments of the woman, Maria Luisa Muñoz, known as ‘la Nena’. She had six children with her husband who died in the year 2000, and was left without any payments despite the fact that her husband, a labourer, had paid into the Spanish social security system for more than 19 years.Her battle has taken nine years, but now she will be paid a pension as well as the 70,000 € the EU court ordered she receive in compensation.Commenting to Cadena SER radio after hearing the news she said
‘I am happy, they have realised we are normal’.

Sean Lovelock-Woodhall, 43,body found?

Property developer and father- of-five Sean Lovelock-Woodhall, 43, a friend of Prince Albert II of Monaco, died in May last year.But his father Ron Lovelock, 65, of Parkmill, Gower, has been denied the chance to find his remains after fishermen who picked up the wreckage demanded £300,000 to reveal exactly where they found it.
Mr Lovelock-Woodhall was with three other businessmen in a Cessna light aircraft taking a flight over possible development sites when they crashed.Gower MP Martin Caton said he would work through the Foreign Office to pressure the Brazilian authorities to ensure the location of the wreckage is revealed.Mr Lovelock-Woodhall lived in the same Marbella complex as Mark Thatcher and sold properties to football stars including Manchester City’s Gareth Barry and former Leicester City captain Matt Elliot.Mr Lovelock, who used to run the Carlton Hotel in Mumbles, has been hoping for news of his remains ever since so his family can at last hold a funeral. He was given hope last Friday when a group of Brazilian fishermen told police they had found wreckage in the sea from a Cessna 310 of the type Mr Lovelock-Woodhall and his colleagues were in.But they have informed the Brazilian authorities they want around £300,000 to reveal the exact location where flight PT-JGX’s wreckage was discovered.Mr Lovelock said: “The Brazilian authorities arrested the guys with bits of plane, credit cards and bones but cannot force them to say where they were found.
“I’m hoping publicity over this will embarrass the Brazilian government into taking action.“Sean was a father of five and he has many family members and friends who loved him and want to stage a funeral for him.“But we cannot do anything until we at least get a clue as to where to start looking for remains.”A spokesman for the Foreign Office said: “The Brazilian Federal Police have questioned the fishermen who claim to have found the wreckage and we await further information from the authorities there.”Cambridgeshire-born Mr Lovelock-Woodhall got involved in the booming Costa del Sol property market in the 1980s.His company sold luxury Spanish apartments to British investors, including former England cricketer Paul Nixon.
He planned a £3bn golf and eco-resort, Barra Nova Pearl, near the Brazilian city of Ilheus.He hired a twin-engined plane with three other British businessmen, Nigel Hodges, 52, Rick Every,41, and Alan Kempson, 46, described as a close friend of former Prime Minister John Major, to look at the site.But it lost contact with air traffic controllers eight miles out to sea, nine minutes before its scheduled landing.Rescue teams searched 400km of sea and rainforest for five days but the search was called off.Mr Lovelock-Woodhall’s family have been upset by allegations on websites that he may have faked his death because of business deals that went wrong.His brother Mark Lovelock, who lives in Peterborough, said the stories were untrue.He said: “It’s been hell on earth quite frankly. There’s been allegations made against my brother and he is not here to defend himself.“No one has shown me any evidence to suggest this. He was a good businessman and a good father and doesn’t deserve what has been thrown against him.”Mr Caton said: “It’s appalling that wreckage including personal belongings can apparently be put on sale for a large amount of money.“I know the fishermen involved were arrested and I will be doing everything I can to ensure the grid reference of where the wreckage is found is handed over.”

British residents in demand for free health care

British residents are expected to lead a demonstration tomorrow, Thursday, called for outside the British Consulate in Alicante in demand for free health care. Other nationalities are expected to join the protest as the group then marches to the offices of the Diputacion in demand that the promise of free access to health care be kept.La Verdad reports that the organisers of the protest note that the regional Valencia Government, la Generalitat, issued a law in 2003 promising free access to the health service. But now, in the middle of the recession the group notes another law which says that to continue to get public health care, they have to register with a private insurer at a cost of about 100 € per person per month, including children.The paper continues that the organisers of the protest say they are tired of being abused. ‘They trick us with the houses we buy, many of them illegal, and there are still many with no water or electricity. They trick us in many ways, but the straw which has broken the camel’s back is denying access to the health service, and that is why we are demonstrating. ‘The regional government does not keep its word’.The unnamed organiser tells the Spanish paper that the rumour is already circulating in Britain not to buy homes or come on holiday in the Valencia region.
The protest leaves from outside the British Consulate in Alicante at 10am on Thursday.

1,000 people taken into custody in the 232 anti-corruption operations led by the National Police

More than 80 of the 200 arrested in the province were in connection with Marbella's corruption investigation, MalayaThis Wednesday is designated by the United Nations as International Anti-Corruption Day, and to mark the occasion Spain’s Interior Ministry has released details of the arrests for corruption over the past five years: close to 1,000 people taken into custody in the 232 anti-corruption operations led by the National Police. The value of the items seized amounts to 3 billion €.More than half the 943 arrests were in Madrid, Málaga, Sevilla and Baleares, and Málaga holds the distinction of more corruption-related arrests than any other province in Spain: 25 police operations and 200 people taken into custody. A large number were arrested in the Malaya corruption case centred in Marbella, an operation which the Ministry notes encompasses 18 separate police investigations launched between 2005 and 2008, some of which are still ongoing today. The arrests in Malaya number more than 80 people, and it has seen items seized with the total value of more than 2.4 billion €.Investigations in the Ballena Blanca money laundering case began in March 2005 and has seen the arrest of some 50 suspects, including notaries and lawyers, on suspicion of forming part of a network which is estimated to have laundered 250 million € in Marbella. Assets valued at more than 350 million € were seized as part of the investigation and more than 250 properties embargoed.

Juan Antonio Roca, is claiming unfair dismissal from his post.

It’s been announced that Social Court 11 in Málaga will hear the case on December 15, but before it gets underway the judge will ask those involved if they want to reach an out of court settlement. The legal representatives from Marbella Town Hall previously tried to reach an agreement last September with Roca via the CMAC arbitration service of the Junta de Andalucía, without success.Roca’s defence claimed that his employment was ‘suspended’ while he was in prison, and that any dismissal would be unfair. Roca is asking for his job back, or a payment in compensation. The Town Hall sacked him after opening disciplinary proceedings for ‘the repeated and unjustified fault of failing to show for work’ since March 31 2006, the day he was arrested in the Malaya case.

‘Ballena Blanca’, ‘Malaya’ and ‘Hidalgo’, are now thought to have laundered more than 1 billion € between them

three large corruption cases based in Marbella, ‘Ballena Blanca’, ‘Malaya’ and ‘Hidalgo’, are now thought to have laundered more than 1 billion € between them since 2005 according to their respective court summaries.The 26 frontmen and women alleged used by Juan Antonio Roca, the man at the centre of the Malaya case, are accused of laundering 670 million €. The money came from the backhanders which many real estate promoters and builders paid to do business in the town. A web of companies were set up to accept the cash.
The Hidalgo case saw 220 million laundered and Ballena Blanca some 150 million

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