Mayor José Alberto Armijo and councillor Nieves Atencia leaving court on Wednesday with their lawyers / e. cabezas

Nerja illegal dump trial postponed as lawyer quits

On leaving the court mayor José Alberto Armijo declined to comment to the media, instead inviting them to speak to him again "when all this mess is over"

Eugenio Cabezas

The judge in Malaga presiding over the trial of Nerja mayor, José Alberto Armijo, urban planning councillor, Nieves Atencia, and six local business owners, for their involvement in the illegal dumping of waste at the former Río de la Miel quarry in Nerja, has agreed to postpone the hearing until October.

The decision was taken after the lawyer of one of the accused business owners resigned and their replacement was not given the legal documents until today, Wednesday.

According to judicial sources, the sessions that were scheduled to take place throughout February and March have been rescheduled for October, November and December. However, sources consulted pointed out that there is still the possibility an out-of-court agreement being reached between now and autumn.

On leaving court, Armijo declined to comment to the media about the postponement, instead inviting journalists to speak to him "when all this mess is over".

Speaking about the forthcoming trial to local television station Telenerja last Thursday, the mayor said that the matter had “generated a lot of fuss over nothing".

The public prosecutor is asking for two years' imprisonment and an 18-month ban on holding office for all of the accused, as well as the payment of fines of between 7,300 and 18,250 euros, for alleged crimes against natural resources and the environment. The Public Prosecutor put the cost of restoring the area around the old quarry at 10.8 million euros.