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BÁRCENAS CASE

Swiss authorities reveal ex-PP treasurer had another bank account

Former Popular Party money man had nine million more euros stashed away than previously admitted

Bárcenas leaves the National High Court last May. Ampliar foto
Bárcenas leaves the National High Court last May.

Former Popular Party (PP) treasurer Luis Bárcenas did not have 38 million euros stashed away in Switzerland, as previously thought. He had 47 million. Swiss authorities sent the High Court investigating judge, Pablo Ruz, financial information about the sums kept by Bárcenas in the Lombard Odier bank, separated into three accounts named Novis, Sinequanon and Tesedul. Funds were transferred here from three other accounts, one of which is allegedly in the name of Rosalía Iglesias, the former treasurer’s wife.

In a statement to authorities on February 25, Bárcenas had admitted to having 38 million euros outside Spain. The couple will soon have to appear before the judge to explain the origin of this money.

Bárcenas has claimed that part of his hidden fortune in Switzerland was gained by buying and selling artwork, besides sound stock market and property investments and consulting work for corporations. Four paintings hanging at the Prado Museum were once allegedly owned by him.

But an Argentinean painter recently revealed that she was paid to sign false art sales contracts worth 560,000 euros to create a respectable front for some of those shady funds. Judge Ruz will question Bárcenas and his wife on the matter on June 27.

Besides that, Bárcenas is also involved in the bribes-for-contracts scandal known as the Gürtel case, which has already brought down leading PP officials including the treasurer himself. On February 12, 2009, six days after the Gürtel story broke, Bárcenas gave power of attorney to his front man Iván Yáñez, instructing him to handle his assets and prepare the paperwork to create a new foundation to which he could transfer some of his funds.

Additionally, Bárcenas was found to have kept secret ledgers reflecting donations to the PP and payouts to party leaders between 1990 and 2008. The courts are now investigating claims of illegal party funding based on these documents, which EL PAIS revealed on January 31.