The ex-treasurer of the PP Luis Bárcenas took advantage of his appearance in Congress on Wednesday as a victim of Operation Kitchen – the spy plot supposedly orchestrated in 2013 by the Interior to snatch documentation that compromised the PP – to once again point out the former president of the Government Mariano Rajoy and other members of the popular leadership as instigators of that parapolice plot. “It’s an assumption, but I think so,” he stressed. The PP has used its intervention, in which it has not asked its former treasurer questions, to cite the GAL, ETA and the cases of corruption of other parties and try to defend itself against accusations of illegal espionage.
The beginning of Bárcenas’s appearance suggested many silences and few responses. The former treasurer, who testified by videoconference accompanied by his lawyer from the Soto del Real Penitentiary Center (Madrid), where he is serving a sentence for the Gürtel caseHe assured when taking the floor that he was going to avail himself of his right not to testify “due to legal imperative.” According to him, in his last statements before the judge of the National Court Manuel García-Castellón, instructor of the caso Kitchen, he had warned him that the case was still “reserved” and, therefore, its content could not be made public. “Once the oral trial is opened, the first person interested in making a statement is me,” he said.
However, the former treasurer finally answered a good part of the questions, most of which did not have to do directly with the illegal espionage that he suffered, and which is the object of the commission, but about box b of the PP and the ” off-the-books accounting ”, as he refers to the so-called Bárcenas papers. Thus, from the outset, he pointed out “the PP of Rajoy” and the then top officials of the Ministry of the Interior, Jorge Fernández Díaz and Francisco Martínez, both defendants in the case, as the origin of the orders to start the police plot to spy on him. Later, he specified those accusations against the former president of the Government himself and whoever was his number two in the party, María Dolores de Cospedal, and added a third person, whose identity she declined to specify. “It is evident that [la orden del espionaje] It has to be from a person of the highest level ”within the PP, he said.
Bárcenas reiterated, as he did in a recent letter to the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office and in the trial that is being held in the National Court for box b, that in that clandestine operation they stole compromising documents that he did not want to specify. And he said again that among that documentation was an allegedly incriminating audio for the then leader of the PP. “Is there a recording in which it is shown that Rajoy destroyed the accounting papers that you gave him?” Asked the PSOE spokesman in the commission, Felipe Sicilia. “That is so, but I do not know now who has this recording. I recorded it, obviously, ”he replied.
On box b, which detailed the so-called Bárcenas papers published by EL PAÍS in 2013, the former treasurer maintained what he has been declaring since July 2013 before the judge of the National Court Pablo Ruz, then an instructor of the Gürtel case. “They are completely true. Everything that is pointed out there is real, “he said, and later predicted that the judgment of the National High Court will prove it.
Questioned about his bank accounts in Switzerland, where he accumulated 47 million euros. Bárcenas assured that he was the only owner. “That money is exclusively mine and there is no other owner in the account,” he answered bluntly. He did so after the deputy of Vox Macarena Olona had affirmed that, in a recent visit he made to Commissioner José Manuel Villarejo in prison when the policeman was still incarcerated, he had assured him that these funds belonged, among others, to the former secretary General of the PP Javier Arenas. The questioning of the Vox representative was, in fact, one of the most tense moments of the appearance. Olona came to accuse the former Treasurer of the PP of “lying” and reproached him for being “more collaborative” with the PSOE, as an alleged payment for the recent prison leave granted by the judge of Penitentiary Surveillance of the National Court.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.