Polop assassination case collapses, 4 years on

ON 19 October 2007 Alejandro Ponsoda, the then Mayor of Polop, was shot by two people as he sat in his car in the sleepy village of Chirles.

Just over a week later he died of his injuries without ever having recovered consciousness.

That was four years ago, and now not only does the murder remain unsolved, but the investigation into the case appears to have crumbled.

The day of the shooting had passed as normal for the Mayor. He had attended a conference on AIDS, had a pizza dinner with his family, and then that night, whilst he sat outside his garage he was attacked and shot through the car window.

This week marked the fourth anniversary of the shooting, yet the murder remains unsolved. 

A judge has now dismissed the case against the previous alleged parties stating that there was no substance to the allegations, which were based on urban planning corruption, and so Juan Cano, the successor of Sr, Ponsoda and the former prime suspect, as well as the other accused, have now all been released from investigation.

Neither the Prosecutor, nor Polop Town Council have appealed the decision.

The weight of the investigation into the crime, which led to the arrest of the seven people who are now all free, was based entirely on the theory that the murder was the product of urban corruption.

It is now reported that the head of the special Guardia Civil task team, set up to investigate the murder, has abandoned this theory after three years of investigations, and is now focussing on the private life of the victim.

The accusations that were the basis of the collapsed investigation were apparently based on the declaration of a protected witness, a Portuguese citizen, who himself acknowledged  that he was an ex-mercenary who had worked for various Africa Governments.

This witness gave statements to the Guardia and before a judge, almost two years after the crime. In the statements he alleged he was aware of meetings taking place  the club Messalina on the outskirts of Benidorm, where its owner, its manager, the then councillor of Urban Affairs for Polop, Juan Cano, a businessman and two others who were never arrested or identified (a man and a blonde woman), were said to have plotted the killing.

The informer confessed that he was offered the “hit”, given his stated background in Africa, although he said he turned it down and instead gave the names of those who were finally arrested as being allegedly the perpetrators of the murder.

The protected witness said he knew the facts because he worked as a porter in the Messalina. But crucially in terms of his credibility as a witness, his statement came a few months after he was fired from the club, and after nearly a year of sick leave. Finally last week a new witness came forward to further discredit the man’s testimony, and so the case as based on the discredited witnesses testimony has been dropped.

Today, the four remaining suspects, Juan Cano, the manager and the owner of the Messalina club, and the unamed businessman,  could only be tried for conspiracy to murder, as no concrete evidence exists to link them with the physical murder itself.

Sources with links to the case have said it was a mistake to abandon so early on in the investigation the lines of inquiry into the private life of Sr. Ponsoda, who it is reported led a secret double life involving massage parlours and clubs in both Valencia and Benidorm. The total focussing of the investigation on the urban planning corruption theory, blinded the investigators to other avenues.

Now, the current Mayor of Polop, Gabriel Fernández, of the PSPV, has now stated that he regretted that the investigation has “created more problems of mistrust, than have been resolved.”

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