News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
In association with
Week October 31st to November 6th 2002
SAFER STREETS FOR TOURISTS
Prosecutors to seek prison sentences for all offenders
By James Parkes
STATE GENERAL PROSECUTOR JESUS CARDENAL HAS INSTRUCTED ALL PUBLIC PROSECUTORS TO DEMAND PRISON SENTENCES FOR CRIMINAL OFFENCES AGAINST TOURISTS.
State Prosecutor's orders were revealed by Justice Minister José
María Michavilla, who has this week begun a series of meetings
with all sectors affected or involved in the Government's new Anti-Delinquency
Sr Michavilla announced that under the new criminal legislation special measures would be taken to place offenders on trial even if the victim cannot attend the judicial hearing. For this purpose, courts will be able to carry out what the new law defines as 'prueba anticipada y preconstituida' - a recorded statement and proof of crime - that will be used to identify the offender and any criminal acts committed against the absent victim.
CRIME REPORT OFFICES
Minister Michavilla also announced that prosecutors will liase with courts and police to open and manage special offices to deal exclusively with foreign visitors who are victims of crime.
LEGAL LOOPHOLE CLOSED
Under old legislation, charges were often dropped against offenders if the victim was unable to return to Spain for the hearing. With the new legislation in force, the legal loophole that has allowed violent criminals to walk free, will now be closed permanently.
FOURTEEN YEAR SENTENCE FOR BRITON
Briton found guilty of New Year's Eve killing in Puerto Banús
By David Eade
A 36-YEAR-OLD BRITON HAS BEEN SENTENCED TO 14 YEARS IN JAIL BY THE MÁLAGA PROVINCIAL COURT FOR STABBING TO DEATH A MAN DURING A FIGHT IN PUERTO BANÚS.
incident took place on New Year's Eve of last year and the victim
was stabbed a total of eight times.
The Briton, initials R.P.W, was born in Liverpool and has no previous convictions. The court was told that during the evening he had had an argument with the victim, initials M.P.T, and this row escalated into a fight in which the eight knife wounds were administered, resulting in the inevitable death of the victim.
NO RESISTANCE OFFERED
After the stabbing the Briton fled and hid in a rubbish container where he was later discovered by the police. He offered no resistance when arrested and showed the officers where he had hidden the knife.
BOLÍN PROPOSES MOTORWAY WATER LINK
The Mayor of Benalmádena, Enrique Bolín, has made a suggestion to the company responsible for the project to lay a reversible water supply pipe between Málaga and the Costa del Sol. He has proposed that the connection be made in an area near the motorway as this would considerably lower the cost of the project.
The object behind the new pipeline is to connect the municipalities of the Costa with the Guadalhorce reservoir, the most important water supply source in Málaga. During the summer months the coast accounts for a third of the water used in the province and the new pipeline will increase supply by 300 per cent.
Initially, TYPSA, the company responsible for the project, had proposed running the pipeline along the coast. However, this proposal has not found favour with Mayor Bolín. He has pointed out that such a pipeline would exclude municipalities on the interior such as Alhaurín de la Torre or Mijas but the motorway link would overcome such supply problems.
NERJA FAIR ATTRACTION BLAMED FOR EYE INJURIES
Regional Health reluctant to follow action in spite of general outcry
By Dave Jamieson
A LEGAL WRANGLE IS LIKELY AFTER AROUND 74 PEOPLE IN NERJA CLAIMED EYE DAMAGE WAS CAUSED BY A FAULTY RIDE AT THE TOWN'S ANNUAL FAIR.
The lawyer, representing some of those who suffered eye irritation and conjunctivitis following visits to the fair, says they will seek damages, but the authorities claim there is no cast to answer. During the fair three weeks ago, the local Health Centre was swamped with dozens of cases, two of which were serious enough to trigger calls to the regional health service's emergency office, Alertas Sanitarias. It is thought the problems were caused by minute metal particles, allegedly released into the air by a bumper-car ride at the fairground.
NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE
However, Nerja's Mayor, José Alberto Armijo, said last week that the health authorities had conducted an investigation and concluded there was not sufficient evidence to justify further action.
Sr Armijo also commented on a remark, said to have been made by a local police officer to a Health Centre doctor called to an urgent case at the fairground, that the ride would not be closed because the owner had paid a certain sum of money. The Mayor called the comment "unfortunate" and said the identity of the officer was being sought since he had not communicated the incident to any councillor. Meanwhile, the owner of the bumper car ride has denied any responsibility, saying the attraction was upgraded regularly, had passed all safety controls and had taken part in other fairs throughout the province without problems.
Marbella's first international festival of theatrical humour will be held at the Palacio de Ferias y Congresos on November 15,16,21,22 and 23. The show is organised by Daniel Filleti and the star attraction will be Ennio Marchetto who transforms himself before the audience's eyes into more than 50 characters. The festival will take place at the Palacio at the same time as the 20th Feria de Muestras, where many exhibitors will display their products, including foods from various countries.
VÉLEZ LATE LEISURE
A concert by singer Antonio Orozco will open Vélez-Málaga's alternative leisure programme, tomorrow night (Thursday). The "Estación de Otoño" programme, aimed at young people in the area, offers sports, aquatic games, workshops, Internet and other activities. Antonio Orozco, who has enjoyed two hit CDs recently, will perform next to the Church of St Anthony of Padua at 22.00.
A Vélez councillor has proposed a monument to the avocado. Tomás Faulí says that the fruit has been of major importance in the economic development of the area, and has suggested that an acknowledgement to its contribution should be mounted in the centre of Almayate. Sr Faulí is to raise the idea with the Town Hall but acknowledges it will only come to pass with support from all political interests.
MÁLAGA BANK RAID
A branch of the Cajamar bank on Málaga's Guadalhorce industrial estate was raided last Friday morning. Three armed men, who appeared to be South American, burst into the bank and threatened staff with firearms until an unknown quantity of money was handed over. They escaped in a red, Madrid registered Chrysler car.
IN A 'DREADFUL STATE'
La Línea Town hall is to take steps to cancel the concession granted to Compañía Auxilar de Transportes S.A. in 1987 to run the town's central bus station. Councillor Juan Montero has condemned the 'dreadful state' of the premises and says the municipality will annul the contract as the company has committed serious infractions due to the poor sanitary conditions and lack of maintenance. The concession was for a 25-year-period and should expire in 2012.
BALES OF HASHISH
The drugs and organised crime squad of the National Police based in La Línea has broken up a drug trafficking gang and seized bales of hashish weighing a total of 1,000 kilos. Officers spotted a four-wheel drive vehicle with two occupants driving at high speed near the port area. Suspicious that the vehicle contained drugs they followed it to a garage when they arrested the two passengers and a third person. It was later established that the vehicle had been stolen.
DOUBTS ABOUT DORADA
potential of a boat used in a famous Spanish television series is
again being debated. Twenty years ago, "La Dorada" appeared
in the Nerja-based series "Verano Azul", but now rests
on dry land in a local park, where it is one of the town's most
photographed attractions. Proposals for its use include a base for
the tourism office and a museum for the TV series, but both have
been ruled out as the vessel does not meet health and safety requirements.