PP'S HIDDEN FINANCES

Former PP treasurer Bárcenas tried to disguise handwriting in test, experts say

His wife calls the police to dispel media crowd outside of his home

Former Popular Party treasurer Luis Bárcenas is met by media scrum as he arrives at his home in Madrid. / Víctor Lerena (EFE)

The former treasurer of the Popular Party (PP), Luis Bárcenas, tried to deceive police while undergoing handwriting analysis to determine the authenticity of records allegedly showing a slush fund within Spain’s ruling party.

Bárcenas, who took the test on February 6, forced his own handwriting in an attempt to make it look different, experts have concluded. In some cases the ex-PP official introduced numbers that were not dictated to him, or failed to write down those that were.

The investigation is trying to determine the reliability of handwritten ledgers apparently kept by Bárcenas and showing 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 prohibited from donating. From 1997 to 2008, these secret accounts also show that much of the incoming money was later used for payouts to PP leaders, who allegedly accepted them as undeclared bonuses on top of their official salaries. One of these leaders was purported to be Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

The Bárcenas case has caused such a media flurry that his wife, Rosalía Iglesias, on Friday called the police to their home in downtown Madrid, where a bevy of journalists were awaiting the former treasurer.

 

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