Ponsoda protected witness checked out

A JUDGE investigating the Polop murder wants police to determine where a protected witness worked at the time of the killing.

Alejandro Ponsoda, mayor of Polop (Alicante), was shot dead in October 2007 and seven arrests were made on the strength of this witness’s evidence.

They were remanded in November 2009 although six have since been released but still face charges. The seventh suspect remains in prison where he is serving a six-year sentence for drugs dealing.

Official theories for the shooting ranged from corrupt property deals to the mayor’s sexuality but no leads have been carried through successfully.

The case was dismissed last June but reopened on the orders of the high court.

The Guardia Civil are now examining the witness’s links to an investigation into bodybuilding drugs, codenamed Operacion Musculos.

He was identified in countless telephone calls to a steroids dealer that were tapped by the police between June and September 2007.

“As you know, this is my only job,” he says in one transcript and investigators claimed that in August 2007 both men were earning money from clients they supplied with illegal anabolic steroids.

When arrested the man, who said he was a doorman and gym instructor, claimed he was offered the job of killing Alejandro Ponsoda while working at the Messalina club on the outskirts of Benidorm.

Operacion Musculos coincided with the planning of the murder, yet the witness did not once refer to the Messalina in any of the bugged calls, nor was he seen there.

On the contrary, not only were these conversations made from different Benidorm nightspots but the recordings failed to reveal that he had any other employment.

He became a protected witness after identifying the men he claimed had plotted to murder the mayor.

They were identified as the owner of the Messalina, together with a Polop-based footwear manufacturer and Juan Cano, who later succeeded Ponsoda as mayor.

The murder was carried out by a Spaniard and two Czech nationals, according to the witness although all seven deny involvement.

Meanwhile, investigators have failed to build a case against them based on the evidence of a witness with an extensive police record in Spain who admits having been a hired killer for several African governments and guerrilla groups.

By Linda Hall

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