Army officers who feasted while students “starved” face jail

Seville residence funds pillaged by colonels with taste for gourmet food and fine wine

The San Hermenegildo student residence for the children of military personnel.
The San Hermenegildo student residence for the children of military personnel. PACO PUENTES / EL PAIS

Military prosecutors are seeking jail terms for the military personnel in charge of the San Hermenegildo student residence in Seville from 2005 to 2009. They are accused of embezzling almost 300,000 euros from the coffers in a case that came to light in 2010 after students' complaints about the “inedible” food being served, and the scarcity even of that.

Meanwhile, colonels Francisco Muñoz and Sebastián Clavijo ate shellfish and drank expensive liquors while their charges "starved." Both men face a 20-year prison sentence. The military prosecutors are also seeking 20 years for captains José Maestre and Antonio Palmero, "who signed for the receipt of goods that never arrived." Four other suspects are also facing jail.

The investigating judge's report into the case earlier this year noted that while students complained repeatedly about going hungry, managers received gourmet food worth thousands of euros from the suppliers, who provided fake invoices in order to obtain ministry funds.

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