The withdrawal of the PP appeal brings Gürtel's first firm conviction closer in the Feijóo era

The lawyer of the Popular Party has sent an unpublished letter to the judges of the Supreme Court. A communication in which the conservative formation announced that he had given the order to withdraw the appeal against his economic conviction for reforming the party's headquarters with black money. All in the middle of the Andalusian electoral campaign and after the media had echoed that the PP had claimed the innocence of its former treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, in an appeal sent to the high court. In public, Alberto Núñez Feijóo's PP blamed the appeal on Pablo Casado's PP, although the documentation shows that it was formalized when the former Galician president was already at the head of the party.

The legal movement of the PP makes the declaration of finality of the third sentence against the party more feasible for its relationship with the corrupt Gürtel plot.

To date, the Popular Party had always fought until the last fringe of its sentences. He did so without success when the National High Court declared the existence of 'box B' of black money proven in the piece of 'Epoca I', where it was considered responsible for profit of the more than 245,000 euros of the plot with which he financed, among other things, electoral campaigns in the Madrid municipalities of Majadahonda and Pozuelo de Alarcón. The Supreme Court upheld the conviction.

The decision of the new leadership of the Popular Party not to appeal leads Alberto Núñez Feijóo to accept his first firm conviction for the party's relationship with corruption. As reported by, the former treasurer decided not to appeal his conviction of two years in prison for this matter, low compared to the 33 years in prison confirmed by the Supreme Court in 2020 in the main piece of the case.

This movement by Bárcenas has already complicated the future of the Popular Party in the cause. The conservative formation had been considered subsidiary civil liability for the fiscal crime committed by Luis Bárcenas by paying for the reform of the headquarters of Genoa 13 with black money from his 'box B'. His economic conviction depended, therefore, on the conviction of his former treasurer, with whom he has had a direct confrontation for years in and out of court. In turn, the conviction of the former treasurer depends on the consideration that the Unifica company, which carried out the works, committed tax fraud in the 2007 Corporation Tax.

Alberto Núñez Feijóo's PP has decided that a party resource requesting the acquittal of Bárcenas was too complicated to explain a week before the Andalusian elections and has chosen to withdraw it. "If the lawyers had allowed the new management to read the appeal, surely it would not have been filed," said Esteban González Pons in an interview on Antena 3. The truth is that the documentation shows that the appeal was announced in court when Pablo Casado was at the head of the party, but it was formalized when Alberto Núñez Feijóo had already taken office as its new president.

The PP's own lawyer explains it, jesus saints, in his letter addressed to the Supreme Court to renounce fighting for acquittal "following express indications" of the party. The appeal was announced – the first formalism in these cases – on November 5, 2021, a week after the National Court issued the sentence and with Pablo Casado at the head of the PP. But the next procedure, the formalization ad cautelam, was carried out on March 28. That is to say, more than a month after the outbreak of the internal war, after Pablo Casado's last speech in Congress and a few days before Alberto Núñez Feijóo was appointed president of the Popular Party in its 20th National Congress.

The definitive formalization of the appeal already took place on April 19, 2022, several weeks into the mandate of Alberto Núñez Feijóo. From the previous leadership of the Popular Party, different sources ran to disassociate themselves from a resource that went through both stages of the Popular Party. "No order was given in that regard. Married knew nothing", they said then to correct the messages that the new management was sending. The truth is that the appeal, in its different phases, was raised, developed and presented at different stages of both directives and requesting the ex-treasurer's acquittal was one of the best PP options to try to reverse his own sentence.

In the case of 'Epoch I', the branch of the Gürtel that studied the corrupt activity of the plot in Madrid between 1999 and 2005, the Popular Party was condemned as responsible for profit. Convicted of benefiting from 245,492.80 euros from the Gürtel in Pozuelo de Alarcón and Majadahonda. In the case of 'box B', the party was condemned as subsidiary civil liability for not having any control mechanism to prevent its treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, from paying in black for the works of the reform of the central headquarters that now the directive de Feijóo has refused to sell correcting the announcement that Casado had made after the Catalan elections.

Bárcenas paid a total of 1,072,000 euros to the Unifica company "apart from the billing and official accounting", coming from the party's B box. And the PP, says the ruling, did not exercise "adequate control" over the management of its manager. Unifica, in total, stopped entering 870,521.32 euros in the 2007 Corporation Tax and Bárcenas was convicted as a necessary cooperator of a crime of accounting falsehood in competition with another against the Public Treasury and of falsehood in a commercial document. At an economic level, Bárcenas responded in part and the PP of the 123,669 euros of black money invested in the works of the second and fifth floors of the building.

The conviction of the PP, therefore, depends directly on the conviction of Luis Bárcenas and his status as an employee and head of the party when the events occurred. Bárcenas's decision not to appeal already greatly complicated the PP's acquittal claims, even lower now that the party has withdrawn its own appeal. There are only two natural persons and one legal entity that can take the case before the Supreme Court: the architect Gonzalo Urquijo, the head of the firm of architects Belén García and the Unifica company itself, considered a subsidiary civil liability like the PP.

There are, therefore, few options for the Supreme Court to issue a resolution that affects the Popular Party. One of them would be that some of the resources that have been presented, by defense and prosecution, affect the entire sentence, declaring, for example, its nullity and ordering a repetition of the trial or the issuance of a new resolution. Or that the judges understood, in some way, that Unifica did not defraud the treasury a single euro in 2007. All this while waiting for the trickle of judgments and judicial decisions on Alberto Núñez Feijóo's party and its relationship with the plot to continue. corrupt Gürtel.

A hypothetical final conviction for the case of the 'box B' of the Popular Party would constitute the first final conviction received in the mandate of Alberto Núñez Feijóo for the relationship that the PP had had with the corrupt plot and precisely for the reform with black money of the headquarters that they have now given up on selling. But may not be the last. The Justice has pending to judge or sentence in firm various ramifications of the Gürtel case in addition to others such as the 'fire cartel', Púnica or Lezo related to the corruption of dozens of municipal and regional positions of the PP in Madrid or the Valencian Community, among others territories.

The second chamber of the Supreme Court will have to write down on its agenda for the coming years, for example, the condemnation of the Popular Party as a lucrative participant in the corrupt activity of the Gürtel in Boadilla del Monte. Other separate pieces are also pending trial or resolution by the Supreme Court, such as those that affect the Madrid town of Arganda del Rey or the supposedly illegal financing of the PP in Valencia. The Púnica and Lezo plots, with former senator Francisco Granados and former Madrid president Ignacio González at the head, are also pending trial, although with a more regional projection on Madrid and the administration led by Esperanza Aguirre.

These pending trials will mean a new judicial parade of high-ranking Popular Party officials, although it remains to be seen yes on the same level than the one that has dominated the dock and the list of witnesses in recent years. From the former presidents of the Government, Mariano Rajoy and José María Aznar, to mayors and councilors in towns whose contracting agencies were corrupted by corrupt plots born and extended in what researchers have defined as a "symbiotic" relationship with the Popular Party.

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