News from Andalucia & Costa del Sol
In association with
Week September 25th to October 1st 2003.
COSTA KILLER'S VIOLENT PAST
Tony King confesses to the murders of Sonia and Rocio and other sexual offences on the Costa
By David Eade and Dave Jamieson
TONY ALEXANDER KING CONFESSED AT THE WEEKEND TO THE MURDERS OF SONIA CARABANTES AND ROCIO WANNINKHOF AFTER DNA EVIDENCE MADE IT OBVIOUS THAT BOTH MURDERS WERE LINKED.
The arrest of Briton Tony Alexander King in Alhaurín el Grande
last Thursday for the murder of Sonia Carabantes in Coín
six weeks ago and Rocío Wanninkhof in Mijas Costa in 1999,
has finally clarified both unresolved cases. Under police interrogation
King has admitted to killing both girls whilst acting alone stating
that his motive was purely sexual.
It has also emerged that King, whose real name is Tony Bromwich, served various sentences in England for a number of sexual offences including the strangling, and leaving unconscious of at least five women in London, where he became known as the 'Holloway strangler'. King has also admitted that he committed three sexual attacks on the Costa del Sol, in the area of Mijas. Investigators are examining whether he is the 'Calahonda Rapist' who terrorised the area in September 2000, which is close to where Rocío was murdered a year earlier. The possibility that he may also be linked to the disappearance of Motril teenager Maria Teresa Fernández in August 2000 is also been investigated although for the moment King denies any relation to the case.
At the beginning of this week, King supposedly wrote letters to the mothers of the victims apologising to them and claiming to be 'sick to his soul' about what he had done. He is currently being detained in Alhaurín de la Torre prison, close to Alhaurín el Grande where he lived and worked as a barman at the Bowers Arms. Described as quiet and a loner he never raised any suspicions about his double life. He lived in the grounds of a local school with his Spanish partner, Mari Luz Gallego, and her teenage children.
Another British man was arrested on Saturday in Nerja in connection with the arrest of Tony King. Police said they were questioning him as an 'alleged accessory' to the murder of Sonia Carabantes. His detention follows testimony from one of the dead girl's friends who alleged that he was at Coín Feria with King on the day of the murder. Police are investigating the possibility of a third person being with King and his friend in Coín and say that further arrests of British subjects on the Costa del Sol could follow.
DOLORES VÁZQUEZ IN THE CLEAR
Following Tony King's confession to both crimes and the lack of any
links between King and Dolores Vázquez, the provincial prosecutor
and legal representatives of the Hornos family have joined Vázquez's
lawyer Pedro Apalategui in asking for the case against Dolores to
Vázquez was convicted in a trial by jury of Rocío Wanninkhof's murder and has spent 17 months detained in prison. Although the appeal court overturned her conviction on legal technicalities she has been under house arrest and faced a new trial next month. If her case is closed, she is expected to seek compensation from the state.
Now Spain's State Prosecutor, Jesús Cardenal, whilst defending the trial by jury system has conceded that its workings have to be reviewed. Speaking in Madrid after the Fuengirola court hearing he stated that the jury system had 'deficiencies' and there was 'need for reform'.
REGIONAL GOV. DISTRIBUTES A MILLION FLU VACCINES
By David Eade
REGIONAL GOVERNMENT'S HEALTH MINISTRY HAS INVESTED 3.2 MILLION EUROS IN PURCHASING 1,009,800 VACCINES TO COMBAT THE FLU VIRUS THIS YEAR.
This is an increase of more than 90,000 doses over last year.
The vaccines will be freely available at 1,412 vaccination centres
from October 1.
The vaccination takes a week to become effective and health officials claim that after that period it is successful in controlling the flu virus in 70 per cent of cases. In the other 30 per cent where flu is contracted it is in a lighter and more benign form.
Those identified as being most at risk from the flu virus are people aged over 65-years of age; pregnant women where the third month of pregnancy coincides with the winter months; adults and children with cardiac, lung or chronic illnesses plus health workers or carers for high risk groups.
FLU JABS DURING OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER
Vaccination programmes are carried out in the Northern Hemisphere
during the months of October and November as the flu virus makes
its appearance from December onwards. Health experts have stated
that they are not expecting a large world epidemic but none the
less around 50,000 people in Andalucía are expected to fall
victim to the illness, the same level as last year.
MARBELLA WATER SUPPLY THREATENED
By David Eade
Residents in the central Avenida Ricardo Soriano area of Marbella
are calling on various authorities to step in and save their threatened
They claim that the construction of the underground car park beneath the avenue is serious affecting the aquifer that is the main water supply for the Nueva Marbella urbanisation. The underground water reserve currently supplies the needs of 1,200 people.
They have sent an urgent letter addressed to regional government, the Town Hall, the association of town halls of the western Costa del Sol and the water authority. In it the residents state that the excavation works have cut longitudinally across the natural watercourse and in many cases the veins have run dry.
The residents acknowledge that the underground car parks are necessary but argue that they should be located in a different zone. They point out that in the area between Calle Jacinto Benavente and the Molino de Viento there is below the soil a great wealth of water that can be used and that this valuable natural resource should be preserved.
MORE FEET LESS WHEELS
Motril town centre will be closed to traffic from 9.00 until 14.00
this Saturday, September 27 as part of a regular campaign to keep
cars off the roads on the last Saturday of every month. Town councillor
Luisa Maria García Chamorro explained that rational car use,
pollution and noise reduction are only some of the reasons for the
event. Also important is encouraging residents to get out and about
on foot and become familiar with what the town has to offer.
A series of activities will also be available to the public including workshops, sports and crafts.
No Car Days will also be held on October 25, November 29 and December 20 and affect Calle Emilio Moré, Plaza Cruz Verde, Plaza Bustamante, Plaza de Gaspar Esteva and Plaza Javier de Burgos. More dates will be programmed for 2004, when the Town Hall hopes to extend the 'ban' to new neighbourhoods.
TORREMOLINOS FERIA AND ROMERIA
Torremolinos celebrates its annual feria in honour of its patron saint San Miguel this week. The 'pregón' announcing the opening of the festivities was read out to packed crowds last Saturday night. On Sunday morning thousands, including many foreign resident groups, joined in the traditional 'romería' procession through the town.
REG. PARLIAMENT REJECTS FUENGIROLA HOSPITAL PLAN
By David Eade
THE NEW PLAN PRESENTED TO THE REGIONAL PARLIAMENT BY THE MAYORESS OF FUENGIROLA, ESPERANZA OÑA, FOR A SHARED HOSPITAL FOR HER MUNICIPALITY AND NEIGHBOURING MIJAS HAS BEEN REJECTED DURING A DEBATE ON THE VIABILITY OF THE PROJECT.
Sra Oña, who is also the Partido Popular's health spokesperson
at regional parliament, saw her plan defeated by the socialist votes.
The PP and IU had supported the project but the PA did not take
part in the debate or the voting.
Sra Oña stated that no socialist representative offered a weighty reason for rejecting the proposal. She also used in her case the fact that the socialist president of the regional government, Manuel Chaves, had supported the call for a hospital during the recent local election campaign.
NEW HOSPITAL FOR LA LÍNEA
La Línea is set to have a new hospital to replace the much-criticised
existing building in the town. The Town Hall has offered a site
at El Higuerón, which has met with the approval of regional
government's health ministry at a meeting attended by the provincial
health delegate, Hipólito García.
Now various studies will be undertaken before the final agreement is signed which will include the design of the new hospital and the system of payment for its construction. However it is hoped that the building works will be commenced in the near future.
AXARQUÍA FIRE PLAN DELAY
Change of wording creates Town Hall headaches
By Dave Jamieson
AN ADMINISTRATIVE ERROR MAY FORCE THE AXARQUÍA'S PLANS FOR IMPROVED FIRE COVER TO BE DELAYED FROM NEXT MONTH TO NEXT YEAR.
The tragic deaths of two toddlers in a house blaze at Periana in July prompted calls for better emergency services, after the nearest fire crews took 20 minutes to arrive at the scene, having had to travel the 30 kilometres from Vélez-Málaga. Two days after the tragedy, the president of the Málaga's provincial committee, Salvador Pendón, said that the planned new fire cover arrangements for the Axarquía's firefighters could be functioning this year, and not in 2005 as originally planned. Over the summer, Town Halls in the region have been amending local legislation to accommodate a new strategy which will see a main base at Vélez-Málaga, with reinforcements at Rincón de la Victoria, Periana and Nerja, and four smaller units at Alfarnate, Colmenar, Cómpeta and Canillas de Aceituno. Costs are to be divided between municipalities according to population and geographical size, ranging from 720 euros to be paid annually by Árchez to 339,000 euros paid by Vélez-Málaga. Later in July, implementation was announced as the first fortnight of October, but that now looks doubtful.
CHANGE IN THE STATUE
According to Nerja Town Hall, the problem has arisen because of
a change in the statute to create the new service. An early draft
defined the fire service's area of cover as 'the region of the Axarquía'
but this has been changed in the final version to 'the eastern area
of the province of Málaga' and says the emergency service
would be named the 'Fire Service of the Eastern Zone'. This has
resulted in a requirement for Town Halls to revise their documentation,
which was based on the original definition, to reflect the amendment.
According to the Civil Protection councillor for Nerja, Francisco Adriano Fernández, this could take three months to achieve, in order to avoid either the provincial administration or any Town Hall committing an irregularity. Meanwhile, Rincón de la Victoria's Town Hall has confirmed that it will approve the municipality's participation in the new fire protection scheme and is expected to house its sub-station at Torre de Benagalbón. The next Town Council meeting at the end of the month will ratify the project.
MANILVA'S FOREIGN RESIDENTS HAVE THEIR SAY
News Staff Reporter
The growing population of foreign residents in Manilva will soon
be able to voice its concerns and suggestions to the Town Hall.
This new initiative was announced by the councillor for youth and
tourism, Rafael Mena, at a ceremony giving diplomas to 70 students
who took part in the recent intensive Spanish course organised by
Sr Mena stated that foreign residents currently made up 15 per cent of the population of Manilva and the Town Hall did not intend to ignore them but keep them very much in mind. A meeting would be organised in the next few weeks so that foreigners could have their say. In addition it was intended to advise foreigners of various municipal activities by sending text messages to mobile phones.
MALAGA METRO TO BE LIGHT AND SPACIOUS
The result of a competition to design the stations for Málaga's
new metro system has been announced. The 27 stops to be built along
the first two lines being constructed will be spacious and light,
according to the winning Catalan architects, José Antonio
Martinez-Lapeña and Elías Torres, who have previously
undertaken many projects throughout the world, some winning design
With some stations 15 metres below ground, care has been taken to avoid a sensation of claustrophobia and to give users a sense of security. Each station will have an entrance archway, 22 metres wide and 4 metres high, housing the ticket office, and that a characteristic lighting and decoration scheme will be employed, using the identifying colour of each line.
The decision of the judging panel, consisting of technical experts from the Junta de Andalucía and Málaga Town Hall, was reported to be unanimous, while the result of a second competition, to design the Metro's logo, will be announced next month. The architects will final the details of the design over the next two months, during which time regional government will begin the process of putting the construction of the stations out to tender. First trains are scheduled to be running below the city centre by 2007.