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pp's hidden finances

Slush fund judge demands PP accounts and donor lists

Ex-treasurer Bárcenas called to testify over Gürtel links

The ruling Popular Party (PP) has five days to produce its accounts from 1990 to 1999 as well as any information regarding party donations it accepted between 1990 and 2011. The request is being made by High Court Judge Pablo Ruz, who is investigating the “Bárcenas papers,” handwritten accounts allegedly kept by former party treasurer Luis Bárcenas and published recently by EL PAÍS.

These ledgers show donations from construction companies (often above the legal limit) and opaque cash payments to PP leaders, including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

Judge Ruz has also indicted Bárcenas and his predecessor, Álvaro Lapuerta, who will have to testify on March 21 and undergo a handwriting test to determine whether they were the authors of secret accounts that suggest illegal party financing.

One day earlier, EL PAÍS editor Javier Moreno will testify as a witness in the case, as will former PP deputy Carlos Mantilla, who stated that “all parties resort to illegal financing to cover their enormous expenses.”

Judge Ruz took over investigation of the “Bárcenas papers” on March 7, after the police financial crimes unit, Udef, established three links between these secret ledgers and the Gürtel case, a parallel investigation into a widespread bribes-for-contracts scheme affecting PP officials at the local and national levels. Ex-treasurer Bárcenas was formally removed from his post when he was accused of involvement in Gürtel.

Another High Court judge has called the two former treasurers in for questioning, as well as 10 donors named on the secret list.