Spain's supreme court annulled on Wednesday the eight-and-a-half-year ban on holding public office given to former mayor of Alcaucín, José Manuel Martín Alba, for his part in the granting of illegal licences to build homes on rural land belonging to the town hall.
The supreme court in Madrid ruled that there was “insufficient evidence” against Martín Alba in the sentence given on 23 December 2016 by a court in Malaga which found him guilty him of perversion of justice in the granting of licences to build four homes on non-urbanisable, or rural land during the early 2000s.
During the hearing it was suggested that an “alternative hypothesis exists” which suggests that the licences, as well as permission to connect the homes to mains water supply, were issued due to “bureaucratic inertia”, rather than “tacit collusion between the town hall and housing companies”.
The supreme court highlighted the fact that the then mayor didn't give formal or official consent to any of the four licences, given that official documents were never signed.
The court in Madrid concluded that there were a number of possible explanations as to why the licences were granted but said the idea that there were “specific arbitrary objectives” was unclear.