The ruling of the National Court that establishes among its proven facts that the Popular Party paid for the reform of its headquarters in Madrid with one million euros that it hid in its box ‘b’ also highlights the lack of collaboration from conservative training to clarify the facts.
As specified by the magistrates in the ruling, the key documentation to sentence Luis Bárcenas to two years in prison was not provided by the conservative formation but rather was obtained in the records made by order of the investigating judge, Pablo Ruz, in the building on Calle de Génova, 13 and at the headquarters of Unifica, the company that was in charge of the remodeling of the building.
In addition, and according to the summary of the so-called Operation Kitchen on the espionage of the former treasurer of the PP, at least the Ministry of the Interior headed by Jorge Fernández Díaz would have tried to steal documentation sensitive to Bárcenas to avoid involvement in the case of box ‘b’ of the party leaders, then led by Mariano Rajoy.
Specifically, the sentence on Bárcenas’ papers refers to at least three key documents discovered by the police group led by Inspector Manuel Morocho during the entry into the headquarters of the PP, ordered by Judge Ruz on December 19, 2013 after the party avoided providing the required documentation.
During the search, which lasted for 14 hours, the agents found “a handwritten annotation on a budget […] related to basements of 21 July 2008 […] in which a series of figures and calculations related to that payment is established in B, as it appears at the top in handwritten form “409 plus VAT- 256,000- 8% – 235,000”, highlights the sentence, which specifies after the first line, which says “409 plus VAT corresponds to the taxable base of invoice 315 plus VAT, which is 474,818 euros, referring to the ‘A’ or official invoice, given the letter A framed within a circle that consists of next”.
In the second line of the manuscript the mathematical operation (the difference in certifications minus the discount) gives a numerical result (235,912 euros) that, when rounded, corresponds to the second payment for third floor works in B, the ruling continues, which shows that Bárcenas makes a rounding in his annotations and adjusts the final figure.
A manuscript at the headquarters
A second document intervened at the headquarters of the PP shows the difference between two certifications, amounting to 256,426 euros, which was paid with a payment in ‘b’ of 235,000 euros, which is also noted in the ‘Bárcenas papers’ on 31st of July 2008. “Said operation”, relates the ruling, “It appears handwritten in a budget intervened at the headquarters of the PP, relating to the basements of July 21, 2008, work that was carried out and included in the actual final certification, the one with the highest amount, of the third floor ”.
The third key document, as it shows how the PP and the company falsified the invoices, is the project to obtain the urban planning license, dated July 15, 2008, bringing the total budget for the work to 428,662 euros: “The which was intervened at the headquarters of the PP “, highlight the magistrates, who show that the reform project signed by the architect Gonzalo Urquijo is dated July 4, 2008, including an amount of 664,023 euros, significantly higher than the previous.
On the other hand the PP, which has been found subsidiary civil liable for the more than one million euros in B that were paid between 2007 and 2008 by his former treasurer Luis Bárcenas, he could have received a much harsher punishment, a criminal conviction, if the events had occurred a few years later.
It was from 2015, on account of one of the modifications of the Penal Code, when the political parties began to be declared directly responsible, as legal persons, for the commission of crimes carried out in their name and benefit.
In this case, the case of the reform of the PP headquarters could have been framed, for which Bárcenas has been sentenced to two years in prison, for having paid the expenses of the work “outside of the invoicing and official accounting and not declared to the Public Treasury ”, they point out to EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA, a newspaper belonging to the same communication group as this medium, legal sources.
Thus, if the PP had been criminally convicted of the conduct of Bárcenas as a necessary cooperator of accounting falsification in competition with a crime against the Public Treasury, the heads of the Popular Party would have had to answer. This is the same case that companies incur that, as legal persons, are found guilty of committing a crime, since in this case their managers respond.
However, in the sentence released this Thursday, the legislation in force at the time of the events can simply be applied, and subsidiary civil liability is attributed to the PP, for an amount of 123,669 euros, for crimes committed by Bárcenas in relation to with 2007 corporation tax of the Unifica company, the one in charge of undertaking the works. In addition, the party is acquitted as a subsidiary civil liable of the crime against the Public Treasury due to the 2008 Corporation Tax.
In the sentence it is said that it is not known that the PP, through its governing bodies -in this case the executive committee-, exercise adequate control over the management of Bárcenas, being the measures adopted by the political formation, -both with respect to the former, as well as internal auditing and promotion of legislative initiatives related to the financing of political parties-, after the date of commission of the prosecuted acts.
In this case, the failure of the sentence declares two subsidiary civil liable, which are both the PP and the architect’s company Gonzálo Urquijo – sentenced to 2 years and 9 months in prison-, for crimes committed by its employees or dependents, representatives or managers in the performance of their duties or services (in application of article 120.4 of the Penal Code). About Unifies, the sentence details that had no compliance programs in place in order to control the actions of its administrators,
Other causes of PP
With the notification of this sentence and the instruction of the ‘Kitchen’ case, the matters related to the PP in the National Court do not end, a situation to which it must be added that the case of the works in Genoa will not have yet written its final chapter yes the sentence is appealed before the Supreme Court. Sources of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office and of several of the accusations, they have indicated to EL PERIÓDICO DE ESPAÑA that they are studying the 454 sentence pages and that in the next few days they will advance their decision.
What’s more, next November 10, the PP will sit on the bench again of the accused as profit-sharing participant for allegedly having benefited from the alleged irregularities committed by Arturo González Panero – former mayor of the formation in the Madrid town of Boadilla del Monte, known as ‘el Albondiguilla’ – with an amount of 204,198.64 euros between 2001 and 2009.
The party currently led by Pablo Casado is also involved in one of the pieces of the so-called ‘Punic case‘, relative to the alleged irregular financing of the PP of Madrid during the stage of Hope Aguirre. In this matter, precisely this Thursday the examining judge Manuel García Castellón has extended three months the investigations at the same time that it has agreed to new proceedings, including taking a statement as imputed to Concepción García Diéguez, Deputy Director General of Services and Application Management of the Community of Madrid, has reported Europa Press.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.