Manuel Penalva, the judge investigating BCM owner Tolo Cursach, is to be replaced. His recusal had been sought by the lawyer of Tolo Sbert, Cursach's right-hand man in the Cursach Group. Penalva had been accused of showing partiality.
The Provincial Court in Palma has ruled that the "appearance" of the judge's impartiality had been "compromised". This stemmed from messages sent by Penalva to a key witness, the "Madame". Because his position had been compromised, the court concluded, his ability to build trust had been weakened. The court did not, however, accept that he had adopted a partial position and that any decisions had been "contaminated".
The court has also dismissed a request from the prosecution to punish certain lawyers for the defence over statements they had made.
Penalva is being replaced by Judge Miquel Florit. In addition to taking over the "caso Cursach" investigation, Florit will also take charge of other elements of what followed on from the original investigation (still ongoing) into corruption in the Palma police force. One of these is the "caso ORA", which has to do with the awarding of contracts for the ORA blue-zone parking system in Palma. The former deputy mayor of Palma, Álvaro Gijón, has been implicated in this case, as he has also been with the Cursach case.
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