Two ex-mayors of Finestrat, and a former citizens security councillor for the authority, went on trial in Benidorm on Monday, accused of homicide after allowing a market in a flood-risk area of the town, which saw a British couple die in a flash flood in October 2011.

Kenneth and Mary Hall from Bootle in Merseyside who were in their 70s, were swept to their deaths as they sat outside a marketplace cafe, with their bodies found trapped under a trailer after the flood.

Torrential rain caused a river to burst its banks at about midday and water surged through a dried-up ravine and deluged the traders who set up their market stands in the area each week. Finestrat council had been fined a year earlier for paving the ravine bed without permission.

The three ex-officials face prosecution calls of jail terms of four years each on two counts of homicide, after not getting the authorisation to do so from the Confederación Hidrográfica del Júcar (CHJ), who proceeded with a prosecution which led to the council being fined in 2010.

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