Bárcenas’ PP slush fund notes show illegal financing in Galicia
Key Gürtel network figure paid €126,000 to "national HQ" in 1999
The secret ledgers kept by former Popular Party (PP) treasurer Luis Bárcenas show a large deposit made in 1999 by one of the main figures in the Gürtel case, a major kickbacks-for-contracts network. The 21 million pesetas (126,000 euros) were handed to Bárcenas by Pablo Crespo, then organization secretary for the Galician PP.
Although national PP leaders have denied the veracity of the secret accounts maintained by Bárcenas - himself implicated in the Gürtel case - and published by EL PAÍS, that 21-million-peseta deposit coincides exactly with an item in the Galician PP's accounting, which police found in a safe deposit box when Crespo was arrested in 2009.
These seized documents show a note dated May 1999 that said "21,000,000. National headquarters. Payment outstanding debt." That same amount was recorded by Bárcenas in May 1999 under the note: "P. Crespo. 21,000,000."Besides this item, Bárcenas' secret ledgers show numerous donations, mostly by construction tycoons, that violated party finance law - either because they went over the limit or because they came from individuals or businesses that were banned from being donors.
From 1997 to 2008, the ledgers also show that much of this incoming money was later used for payouts to PP leaders, including prime Minister Mariano Rajoy, who allegedly accepted them as undeclared bonuses aside from their official salaries.
The conservative party was holding an emergency meeting on Friday to try to find a common strategy to stem the growing suspicion regarding the likelihood of illegal party financing.In 2009, while he was in prison over the Gürtel case, Crespo talked to his lawyer about the scandal there would be if news of the Galician PP's accounts ever came to light.
He asked when illegal party financing crimes expired, and his lawyer replied that it was 10 years.In its report to the judge, the police wrote that "the funds destined for the payment generated by that political group come from resources outside financial circuits, and might come from third parties who are financing the party's events with money outside economic circuits."