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Court to investigate allegations of criminal activity in Mijas racecourse management

Wednesday's special commission meeting in Mijas.
Wednesday's special commission meeting in Mijas. / I. Gelibter
  • A Mijas councillor reported the case after the municipal secretary spoke of “flagrant illegalities” at the racecourse

The management of the Mijas racecourse, the Hipódromo de la Costa del Sol, has come under further scrutiny this week after the public prosecutor sent allegations of criminal offences to a court for investigation.

After studying a report filed in February by Costa del Sol Sí Puede (CSSP, a Podemos-supported group) councillor, Francisco Martínez, the prosecution has found sufficient evidence to pass the case on to a court to investigate possible cases of “fraud, embezzlement and corrupt practice”, said judicial sources. In his allegations Martínez stated that he had received a report from the municipal secretary which spoke of a series of allegedly illegal activity in connection with the management.

The report refers, among other points, to the increase of capital and other activities carried out by the council-owned firm Recursos Turísticos Mijas, involving municipal land. The secretary’s report also referred to irregularities in the concession of the licence awarded for the construction of the racecourse due to the classification of the land in question.

The secretary’s report, which used expressions such as “flagrant illegalities” said that the racecourse was “rented to the town hall”. In other words, according to the report, the local authority ended up paying the management an annual fee to have the use of a facility that it really owned.

The allegations point to 17 individuals, among them three former mayors, Agustín Moreno, Antonio Maldonado and Ángel Nozal.

Meanwhile, as the court investigates possible illegalities, on Wednesday Mijas town hall held a meeting of its own committee set up to investigate the racecourse. The members, who stressed that their committee is not a court and simply aims to shed light on the racecourse’s situation, agreed to invite Agustín Moreno and Antonio Maldonado, as well as the former and current secretaries, to assist their inquiry. Their findings would then be passed on to the relevant authority, stated their president, planning councillor, Andrés Ruiz.