The two politicians who presided over the Popular Party for 28 consecutive years, José María Aznar and Mariano Rajoy, declared this Wednesday in the trial of irregular financing that extends over both periods. They did so as witnesses because the investigation that managed to prove the existence of box B has been unable to gather sufficient evidence to attribute criminal responsibility for it to the highest officials of the party and main beneficiaries of the system with which the PP he won general elections and regional elections.
Mariano Rajoy: “There has been no box B of the PP and I have not shredded some papers that I have never had in my hands”
The above data explains almost everything that happened on Wednesday afternoon at the National Court: the witnesses Rajoy and Aznar clung to the fact that box B never existed and the willing lawyers of the popular prosecution could do little about it. What they themselves, the Police, the prosecutors and the judges did not achieve in eight years was impossible to achieve in the three and a half hours of questioning the witnesses of the irregular financing of the Popular Party present, Mariano Rajoy and José María Aznar.
If Bárcenas’ revelations at the start of the hearing reached the top of the headlines but had no criminal relevance, the forgetfulness and contradictions of the former presidents of the Popular Party may undermine his credibility, perhaps provoke outrage, but they proved useless so that at some point At the moment it may be an imputation for the box of black money that the courts have accredited that existed a few meters from his office for years.
As happened the day before with the testimony of their general secretaries, Aznar and Rajoy did not move a millimeter from the argument that they all share: box B did not exist; the Bárcenas papers are an invention (except for a few points); they never received bonuses; the treasurer was an autonomous entity.
The Bárcenas papers collect payments to Aznar in 1990, 1997 and 1998 for a value of 8.5 million pesetas under the heading “JM”, to which the former treasurer continues to be careful to allude. “I have not received any amount, nor do I respond to any consideration that may affect those annotations, if they are true,” Aznar said. Mariano Rajoy, as he did in the Gürtel trial, also denied a single charge in B. “In my 40 years in the PP I have never heard anyone talk about box B,” he defended.
The aforementioned was joined by the mantra that the statutes make the treasurer an autonomous entity that only reports to the party’s executive committee and to expose the annual or extraordinary budgets of electoral campaigns. The lawyer Latorre, insistent on finding a gap in this reasoning, finally found it in Aznar’s statement, who had to admit that until 1993 the statutes awarded the party president – he was appointed in 1990 – a supervisory task on the ex-treasurer. “The statutes said so, but the reality of operation after the dismissal of Naseiro [juzgado y absuelto por defecto de forma] it is a function that ceases to exist. I didn’t have any faculty, “he excused himself.
Aznar and Rajoy in the roles of Aznar and Rajoy
As in the case of his squires, the former presidents each left his personal stamp: Aznar, was challenging with the lawyers, to whom he reminded his resume before they began to ask. Namely: defenders of “socialists” in the past, representatives of “socialists” in this case, Puigdemont’s lawyer … There the president of the court cut him off: whoever Gonzalo Boye defends in other processes is not subject to the procedure of box B of the PP.
For his part, Rajoy had no problem reproducing some characteristic expressions despite the risk of suffering parody. A lawyer asked him about the motivations that Bárcenas might have had to falsify the manuscripts of the parallel accounting if, as he had just related, he was being paid what he was owed after ceasing to be treasurer, he had an office and a party car … ” I can’t put myself in people’s minds, among other things because people are different, “he said. And he added: “I would not have done those roles and it is difficult for me to understand that someone has done these roles.”
As Bárcenas’ papers are a lie, according to the former presidents of the PP, little progress could be made. The concentric circle into which the interrogation of Rajoy became reached its zenith when the witness released the lawyer Virgilio Latorre: “He is using some documents that I have said are a lie, and from there he can make whatever reasoning he wants but not they have no value. What the papers say has no value. Don’t go around: they are false. ” The president of the court instructed him to avoid giving instructions to the lawyer.
It happens that, as Rajoy himself said at a press conference in 2013, four days after the scandal broke out, “everything it says (in the manuscripts) is false, except for something”. And so they have declared at least four witnesses during the hearing. None have recognized that the deliveries collected are black money, but they did exist on those dates and for those amounts.
Thus Aznar denied the historic PP deputy Jaime Ignacio del Burgo when he declared that Aznar himself had authorized a payment of 500,000 pesetas to Calixto Ayesa, from the UCD and that he closed the dermatology consultation he had to dedicate himself to politics. “I have not given authorization to financially compensate anyone,” Aznar said. Later he added that Del Burgo, the mainstay of the first stage post Aznar in the conspiracy theory of 11-M, he would have confused the content of the “many meetings” at the time of Bárcenas’ note.
Rajoy had his own explanation, so much of the common sense of which he has always presumed as the maximum policy: if “more than 95%” of those who have declared have denied that there was a black money box that stained them all, what relevance can they have five testimonies to the contrary that also only point to the fact that what Bárcenas noted about those deliveries was true? ”.
The memory failed to the ex-presidents of the Government and the PP in several moments of his declaration. The lawyer Mariano Benítez de Lugo asked Rajoy about several interviews in which at the time he sang the ‘mea culpa’, unlike what he did yesterday. But Rajoy did not remember what he could refer to for that troubled 2013. Aznar, for his part, was upset when he did not remember that he denounced El País for Bárcenas’ papers and attributed responsibility for that box B and that the courts twice rejected their claims.
The testimony of the presidents of the PP was not attractive enough to clarify the payment of the Genoa reform with the money from box B for the Prosecutor’s Office and the State Attorney to ask them any questions.