Whirlpools World

BENFERRI´s mayor Luis Vicente Mateo is the subject of a workplace harassment case, with prosecutors calling for a 15 month jail term at a hearing that has started in the Orihuela courts.

Mateo, of the socialist PSOE party, has been in office since 1999, and is accused of verbally abusing municipal secretary, Joaquin Botella, in a series of incidents starting in 2011.

Botella allegedly uncovered a series of irregular payments authorised by the mayor,

Mateo also faces up to nine years of disqualification from public office in a separate case which is scheduled to start the the day after this month´s local elections.

The mayor is scheduled to be at a Provincial Court hearing over prevarication in 2014 over alleged allowances and travel payments.

Mateo originally won that long-running case back in the autumn, but it has been brought back to the higher court after an appeal from the prosecutor and the opposition Partido Popular.

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