The Supreme Court confirms that the Popular Party benefited from the corruption of the Gürtel plot and ratifies the conviction as a civil liable “for profit” that the National Court imposed on him in May 2018, but removes allusions to the existence of a box B in the party included in that sentence as they are considered “excessive”, as confirmed by the High Court. That resolution precipitated the motion of censure by Pedro Sánchez and ended up putting an end to the political career of Mariano Rajoy. Then, the special court admitted that “parallel accounting” was not the object of its ruling, but the magistrates considered that it was a necessary “context” to explain Francisco Correa’s network. The judges of the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme now maintain that there can be no criminal responsibility without accusation or defense.
A year of Gürtel, the sentence that changed all power in Spain
The ruling known this Wednesday ratifies with slight adjustments the prison sentences for 29 defendants set by the National Court and highlights how the Correa Group created an authentic system of corruption that manipulated public contracting through its relationship with influential members of the PP. Eleven of the accused are sentenced to more than 12 years in prison. The leader of the plot, Francisco Correa, is sentenced to 51 years in prison, with an 11-month reduction compared to what the National Court imposed on him. The High Court reduces the sentence of its number two, Pablo Crespo, by one year and two months, to 36 years and 8 months. The former treasurer of the PP Luis Bárcenas the Supreme imposes a sentence of 29 years and one month. The National Court had sentenced him to 33 years and four months.
The ruling of the National High Court of May 24, 2018 – which went ahead with the votes of the progressive José Ricardo de Prada and the conservative Julio de Diego – had the private vote of the third member of the court, Ángel Hurtado, who last 30 of September was promoted to the Criminal Chamber of the Supreme. Hurtado requested the acquittal of the PP and refused to allow Rajoy to be called to testify as a witness. That statement as a witness ended up being the last straw for his Government, since the court did not give credibility to Rajoy’s story and the rest of the high officials of the PP who declared not knowing the existence of bonuses in the party.
The decision of the Supreme Court to confirm part of the sentence handed down in the first instance leads to the immediate execution of the same, although the convicts resort to the Constitutional Court, legal sources explain.