Spain begins to recover one of the most voluminous spoils that corruption hid abroad. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office assures in a statement that the Swiss authorities “have begun to fully unlock and transfer to Spain” the more than 43 million euros that the leaders of the plot hid in accounts in the Swiss country and that had been blocked, most of them since The start of the investigation in 2009.
Gürtel sentence: 51 years for Correa, 33 for Bárcenas and the PP sentenced “for profit”
The Prosecutor’s Office explains that all this money is related to one of the most important pieces of the Gürtel plot, the one baptized as ‘Epoch I’ already firmly sentenced by the Supreme Court and in which the judges analyzed the activity of the network in localities of Madrid in addition to Estepona and Castilla y León. The same sentence that firmly condemned the Popular Party as responsible for profit for benefiting from the activity of the corrupt group of Francisco Correa in Majadahonda and Pozuelo de Alarcón and that triggered the motion of censure that removed Mariano Rajoy from Moncloa.
The Spanish authorities have demanded the return of this money once the convictions have been declared firm and in order to pay the fines and civil responsibilities of the accused. The process began in February 2021 with a request for international assistance so that Credit Suisse would deliver the money that Panamanian companies owned by Francisco Correa and Pablo Crespo had there. There they hid the loot of bribes and illegal awards of the public administrations where the Popular Party governed between 2005 and 2009. The statement also points to accounts of former treasurer Luis Bárcenas, accounts blocked since 2013.
The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office headed by Alejandro Luzón highlights in this statement the collaboration of the Swiss authorities in a case that has more than a dozen separate pieces with leaders who hid most of the loot in different banks through a declared network of figureheads proven by the Supreme Court. “The Swiss Prosecutor’s Office has been committed to the investigation since its inception and has collaborated closely with the Spanish Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office throughout the procedure, also facilitating, during the judicial investigation, a huge volume of banking information (more than 15 complements of rogatory commissions over 10 years and 41 volumes of documentation from more than 37 bank accounts)”, explains Anti-Corruption.
In the case of Gürtel’s ‘Epoch I’, the Supreme Court sentenced 29 defendants with the highest sentence for Francisco Correa (51 years), for the former mayor of Majadahonda Guillermo Ortega (40 years and 3 months) and the former treasurer Luis Bárcenas (29 years and 1 month), among many other businessmen, public officials of the PP and figureheads. The sentence also declared the responsibility of the party for the financing of electoral campaigns in Majadahonda and Pozuelo de Alarcón, municipalities in which they governed, with money from the plot.