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PP's HIDDEN FINANCES

Court opts not to call Rajoy in for questioning over Bárcenas case

Judge also queries PP on alleged bribe paid by Sacyr to Castilla-La Mancha regional government

Neither Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy nor three former Popular Party (PP) officials will have to testify in the Bárcenas case, involving secret ledgers kept by former party treasurer Luis Bárcenas and suggesting illegal party funding.

In a written statement issued Friday, High Court judge Pablo Ruz said he will not subpoena former PP ministers Jaime Mayor Oreja, Ángel Acebes and Rodrigo Rato (a former IMF chief) to question them over the case.

A significant portion of the donations recorded in the handwritten ledgers violated party financing legislation. Over two thirds of the donations could never have been made through official channels, either because they went over the 60,000-euro limit or because they were made by individuals or businesses that were barred from being donors.

On the expense side, the ledgers show regular payouts to members of the PP executive, who allegedly accepted this undeclared money on top of their official salaries. This list includes Rajoy himself, who subsequently published his tax filings to try to prove that the claims were false.

Meanwhile, the judge has found new deposits in Bárcenas’ Swiss accounts coinciding with the items that show up in the secret ledgers, whose existence was revealed by EL PAÍS on January 31. So far, 47 million euros stashed away by Bárcenas have surfaced; their origin remains unclear.

The judge also wants the PP to send him all existing information regarding an alleged bribe of 200,000 euros made by the building giant Sacyr to the regional government of Castilla-La Mancha, run by the PP, to obtain the trash collection contract in Toledo.