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Former Balearics chief takes the stand in his own defense

Jaume Matas denies any wrongdoing at his fraud and embezzlement trial

Former Balearic Islands regional premier Jaume Matas on Tuesday denied he negotiated any type of contract with an El Mundo reporter to write his speeches and publish glowing stories about his administration.

Taking the stand in his own defense at his fraud and embezzlement trial, Matas answered questions speaking in the third person. "The regional premier knows nothing about this," he said, acting as if he were still head of the Balearic government.

Prosecutors say Antonio Alemany, the former newspaper reporter, defrauded the Balearic Islands' government with Matas' help. They are asking that Matas and Alemany be sentenced to eight and five years respectively.

More information
Journalist received payola from former Balearic premier, testifies ex-press aide
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