Security deposit demanded from former employment minister

Former employment minister Antonio Ferández
Former minister Antonio Ferández

The former Junta de Andalucía employment minister Antonio Fernández has been ordered to pay a security deposit of 807 million euros against any potential civil liabilities that may result in the event of him being found guilty.

The former minister is part of the scandal which allegedly involves millions of euros of fraud in the town halls concession of financial aid for laid-off employees.

The money paid will only be security against potential liabilities and will not serve as bail – Fernández will remain in prison where he has been remanded since April. Judge Mercedes Alaya believes he played a “principal roll” in the case and has indicted Fernández on charges of bribery, misuse of public funds and document fraud.

Sr Fernández is the first minister-level Junta official to be indicted in the case.

The payment is one of the largest ever requested and even dwarfs a previous deposit of 686 million euros which was demanded from the former director general of employment and social security, Francisco Javier Guerro, who was jailed on similar charges in March. In that case, the judge has also embargoed Sr Guerrero’s assets, including bank accounts.

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