The Prosecutor’s Office has made final this Thursday his request for conviction as a lucrative person responsible for the Popular Party for benefiting from the activity of the corrupt Gürtel plot in the Madrid town of Boadilla del Monte. During the final stretch of the trial that is held in the National Court, the representative of the Public Ministry, Concepción Nicolás, has confirmed the request that the party chaired by Pablo Casado have to pay 204,198.64 euros. In this case, the PP sits on the defendant’s bench for the third time, the second time it does so to benefit from money from corruption.
The irregular financing of the PP: the “isolated cases” that do not stop repeating themselves
In Nicolás’s opinion, during the hearing it has been proven that there was a “profit” on the part of the PP and, consequently, its “obligation” is to compensate that money. “Each and every one of the payments is perfectly accredited,” asserted the prosecutor, who has insisted that whoever “takes advantage” or “enriches” as a result of a crime has the obligation to return those funds “even when they have no knowledge of previous illicit conduct ”.
The final conclusions of the Prosecutor’s Office do not modify, therefore, the responsibility for profit of the PP for the contracts supposedly awarded by the consistory in exchange for commissions to the Sufi companies (24,000 euros), Constructora Hispánica (30,000) and Teconsa (120,000) in addition to various minor contracts (29,000). The Anticorruption thesis is that the PP benefited from these operations by getting companies of the plot to pay the costs of different political events organized by and for the party.
In her presentation, the prosecutor has made it clear that she gives all credibility to the account of the internal auditor of the conservative formation during the trial stage, Carlo Lucca Bugniani, who in his testimony as a witness – Nicolás recalled – affirmed that “the PP is a single person economic, a single client with a single number in the party registry and clarified that the expenses of municipal campaigns have to go through common services and that everything is contracted from Genoa. In his opinion, all the questions related to whether the financing of the PP of Boadilla was known in Genoa were resolved “easily” by this witness. “We are talking about a single legal person and a single economic person. It’s that easy, ”the prosecutor insisted.
On the other hand, Nicolás has announced reductions in his request for penalties for sixteen of the defendants who have acknowledged the facts, thus trying to obtain a reduction in the sentence. For everyone except for the one who was mayor of Boadilla for the PP between 1999 and 2009, Arturo González Panero, for whom he has maintained his request for forty years in prison. The prosecutor has defined as “tendentious, equivocal and false” the confession of González Panero, who affirmed that the PP gave him instructions that part of the expenses of the autonomic campaigns of 2003 and of the general of the 2004.
The former mayor also claimed to have received “calls from Moncloa” during the presidency of José María Aznar and directives from the party’s regional president, Pío García-Escudero, in relation to various people and actions of the Gürtel in the municipality. But the representative of the Public Ministry has recalled that jurisprudence requires that for a confession to have effects it must not hide, falsely add other different elements or avoid responsibilities by attributing them to others. “Exactly what Panero has come to do,” he said in court.
The Prosecutor’s Office has reduced the jail request for the other defendants who have acknowledged the facts in their written confessions prior to the start of the oral hearing and throughout the trial. In the case of Francisco Correa and Pablo Crespo, for example, it has suppressed the crime of illicit association for which they were already convicted in the piece called Epoch 1. For the first, leader of the plot, he has gone from asking 19 years in front of the 76 initially requested, while for the second the request rises to 16 compared to the initial 64.
The lawsuit for the corrupt activity of the Gürtel plot in Boadilla del Monte hand in hand with the Popular Party has been marked by a barrage of confessions by defendants who expected a reduction in the requests for conviction in exchange for acknowledging the facts of which the Prosecutor’s Office accused them. Correa, for example, was explicit when describing how he handled public procurement thanks to his relationship with local party leaders: “If we were awarded the award, the businessman would provide me with the corresponding amount or commission. I would try to get it awarded. to the candidate that I offered, “he said.
According to the prosecutor, Correa “recognized absolutely everything.” “He has recognized laundering, money, prevarication and has even told us about his own business with other businessmen whom he called the lobby or the bussines,” said the Anticorruption representative, who has recalled as the leader of the Gürtel explained before the court the activity he carried out with his event companies, how he met González Panero and even where the money “distributions” were made.
Two sentences to the PP
The trial for the activity of the corrupt Gürtel plot in Boadilla del Monte is not the first to explore the Popular Party’s relationship with the plot and how it benefited from it in numerous territories and municipalities where it ruled. The supreme court already condemned the party in 2020 as responsible for profit for benefiting from his corrupt activity in Majadahonda and Pozuelo de Alarcón, Madrid municipalities near Boadilla del Monte. In that case, the economic condemnation of the training that Pablo Casado now directs exceeded 245,000 euros, money with which he financed electoral campaigns in both localities.
His second conviction, although he is as a subsidiary civil liable for the crimes of Luis Bárcenas, came a few months ago with the judgment of the National Court on the ‘box B’ and the reform of the headquarters of Genoa 13 paid with black money from said parallel accounting. In this case, which has not yet been sentenced in firm, the PP was sentenced to take charge of more than 123,000 euros for the tax crime committed by his then employee Luis Bárcenas, who has decided do not appeal your conviction. In both cases, the courts have considered proven the existence of this ‘box B’ of black money within the conservative formation.