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An association representing prison officers in Spain has denounced the preferential treatment given to singer Isabel Pantoja, incarcerated last week for tax fraud.

The group claim that the head of the prison service has given “pretend advantage” to the singer, after the prison was ordered to prepare a special cell for her, with polished tiles, a new mattress and “extraordinarily” clean.

In a statement, the groups say that should these facts be confirmed, “there is no other option than for the dismissal of the Director of the prison, María Isabel Cabello, and the opening of disciplinary proceedings”.

The association also claim that a memo was sent to the officers on the 19th of November from the centre´s director, reminding them of their obligations, something they consider unnecessary given their “experience and professionalism”.

They argue that people enter the prison every day and none of those have had cause for such a memo to be sent, which they say show how the directorate “lack professionalism” in dealing with the imprisonment of a celebrity such as Pantoja, even before entering the prison, “different to how they deal with the rest of the prison population”.

Given this, the association have expressed their “revulsion” the prison administration has placed on the staff of this prison, whilst leaking confidential information and thus breaking the law on data protection.

It is not the first time that the prison system has been accused of preferential treatment to certain prisoners. Four months into his sentence having been found guilty of corruption, the former mayor of Torrevieja, Pedro Hernández Mateo, still enjoys the benefits of a different life in jail to other prisoners. He is accommodated in a nursing wing, in a larger than normal cell which he shares with two “model” prisoners, where he can attend the gym, play sports, walks every day, receives his daily mail and attends mass on a Sunday to pray.

Pantoja was shrouded in controversy when she appeared in concert in Torrevieja during the summer of 2012, at a cost to the tax payer of 35,000 euro, although the local socialists claim the figure was nearer 50,000 to 55,000 euro. At the time, the city council justified the expense as it allowed the citizens of Torrevieja to attend the concert at a lower ticket cost, although only 2,000 people were said to have attended according to the official figures from the town hall, but the promoter, Horizonte Musical, claimed this figure was hugely exaggerated and that only 1,374 tickets were sold, and that they made a huge loss on the event.

Filed under: http://www.theleader.info/article/45725/

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