Misc 24/02/2021

Bárcenas tells the judge that he gave Aguirre an envelope with €60,000 for the 2007 campaign

Prison Service grants former PP treasurer his first two permits

2 min
The ex-treasurer of the PP Luis Bárcenas, to the dock of the accused in the trial on the box B

MadridLuis Bárcenas continues to disclose information and this Wednesday it concerned the former president of the Madrid region, Esperanza Aguirre. The former treasurer of the PP has implicated her in the collection of black money linked to donations from businessmen in the framework of Púnica corruption case, which investigates the alleged irregular financing of Madrid's PP and on which he has testified as a witness before Judge Manuel García Castellón. In this case, however, the money didn't go towards bonuses for leaders, but rather the envelope containing €60,000 would have been used to cover expenses for the campaign of the regional elections of 2007. According to some media reports, the ex-treasurer of the PP has identified construction company Ploder's CEO , Luis Gálvez, as a donor. Ploder later benefited of a public award.

These statements were made on the same day that it became known that prison services have granted Bárcenas his first two prison permits since he entered prison because of his role in the Gürtel corruption case. Spanish law on cumulative sentences allows for a reduction in time served, in which maximum prison time served is set at three times the amount given for the gravest crime. Thus, Bárcenas, who was sentenced to a total of 29 years of consecutive sentences will see his time behind bars reduced to twelve years, as the gravest crimes he was convicted of (money laundering and fraud) earnt him four-year sentences. Bárcenas has now been in prison for almost four years, meaning he has served over a quarter of his revised sentence, a necessary condition to be granted prison permits. Thus, the prison board has granted him two six-day permits, which are still pending confirmation by a judge.

The PP has not considered it a coincidence that the first permits have come after his appearance in court. Although it promised not to speak more of its corrupt past of the party after announcing the change of headquarters, the party tweeted in capital letters: "PACTA SUNT SERVANDA". This is a well-known expression in the field of law that means "agreements must be kept"

Bárcenas court appearances are many and on Tuesday the ex-treasurer's circle announced that he accepted the repatriation of €22m from bank accounts in Switzerland that correspond to the money that the National Court ruled he had hidden as a result of the Gürtel plot. Businessman Francisco Correa and former secretary of organization of the PP of Galicia Pablo Crespo, also part of the corrupt network, have also seen bank accounts seized. In total, the court will get back €50m..

Next Monday Bárcenas will again be in the limielight as he appears as defendant in the trial on the PP's slush fund. The trial began a few weeks ago at the National Court, but had to be suspended because another defendant, the former manager of the PP Cristóbal Páez, contracted coronavirus. Once recovered, proceedings will resume on Monday with witness statements, after the first sessions only addressed the preliminary questions, marked by Bárcenas's defence's request of a confrontation between his client and the former president of the PP Mariano Rajoy.