Tuesday, August 9

The National Court condemns Luis Bárcenas and the PP for the reform of their headquarters with black money

The National Court has issued this Thursday the sentence of the second great trial of two decades of irregularities in the Popular Party. The ruling emphasizes the existence of a box B in the party with which part of the works of the party’s national headquarters on Genova street in Madrid was paid and condemns the main defendant, former treasurer Luis Bárcenas, to two years in prison. The court condemns the PP as a subsidiary civil liable of 123,669 euros for the 2007 Unifica Corporation tax.

Reactions – The PP, after the conviction: “We have already said everything we had to say”

Know more

The judicial truth clashes, therefore, with the testimonies in the trial of the party’s top officials between 1990 and 2018, who appeared as witnesses. Among them, the former presidents José María Aznar and Mariano Rajoy and the former general secretaries María Dolores de Cospedal, Ángel Acebes, Javier Arenas and Francisco Álvarez Cascos. Using different formulas, they all denied having known of the existence of a parallel accounting in the party and having received the alleged payments in their name withheld from the Treasury that Bárcenas’ papers collect. But six witnesses did acknowledge having received the money that appears in the former treasurer’s manuscripts.

The ruling, as the judgment of the First Epoch trial of Gürtel did, repeatedly alludes to the “parallel accounting” of the Popular Party, which assumes as credited, as well as the papers of Bárcenas, the handwritten annotations where the treasurer of the training he noted the inflows and outflows of the black money coming from the entrepreneurs. The Chamber recounts how Bárcenas held the position of manager of the PP from 1990 to June 2008, a period in which he managed the cash funds contributed to political training as private donations “through parallel accounting – B accounting – of which Income and expenditure were not recorded in the official accounts and therefore were not audited by the Court of Accounts ”.

Regarding the veracity of the ‘Bárcenas papers’, the speaker, María Fernanda García Pérez, recovers the argument of the defense of Unifica – the company that carried out the works – which, in its final report, alluded that the Bárcenas papers did not they have to be all true or all lies: “There is another option, and that is that some annotation is true.”

The control of income from donations, as well as expenses, says the ruling, were noted by Bárcenas in some sheets that he filled in with handwritten annotations and then in Excel sheets. These papers, the sentence indicates, did not contain a systematic record of entries and exits and suffered from various balance errors, as well as negative balances, in which money was generally missing, although they reflect events whose reality has been proven, such as transfers to official donation accounts, money deliveries to certain people linked to the Popular Party or payments for the reform works of the headquarters of the aforementioned political formation on Calle Génova, 13 in Madrid. This money, always in cash and beyond the control of the accounting department and the party cashier, was kept in a safe located in Bárcenas’ office, the sentence specifies.

Acquitted of the most serious crimes

In the 454-page sentence, the Chamber condemns Bárcenas as a necessary cooperator of a continuing crime of accounting falsification in competition with a crime against the Public Treasury relating to the 2007 Corporation Tax of the Unifica Company in relation to media bankruptcy with a continued crime of falsification of a commercial document committed by individuals and imposes a fine of 1.2 million euros.

The court condemns the architect of Unifica Gonzalo Urquijo and his partner Belén García to two years and 9 months in prison and a fine of 2.6 million euros as the perpetrators of a crime against the Public Treasury related to the 2007 Corporate Tax of Unifica in Medial bankruptcy relationship with a continuing crime of falsification in a commercial document.

On the contrary, the Chamber acquits the other two defendants in this procedure, the one who was manager of the PP Cristóbal Páez and the employee of Unifica Laura Montero. In the case of Bárcenas, Urquijo and Belén García, the three are acquitted of the most serious crimes of which they were accused, among them illicit association, electoral crime, influence peddling, money laundering or documentary falsification.

Mitigating for Bárcenas for “effective collaboration”

In the case of the ex-treasurer of the PP, the court applies the extenuating confession to him as his “real, active and effective collaboration” has been accredited to clarify the facts and their authors, although, he points out, were the records carried out in the headquarters of the PP and Unifica, which provided the decisive data for the investigation. To the former treasurer of the PP, the mitigating circumstance of repairing the damage is also applied, along with the other two convicts. On the other hand, undue delays in the processing of the procedure are rejected.

The control of the income from the donations, as well as of the expenses, was carried out by the defendant Bárcenas in some sheets that he filled in with handwritten annotations and later in Excel sheets, which is what has been called “Bárcenas papers”.

Payment of the work with money from box B

The ruling explains that in 2005 the PP decided to undertake the remodeling of the building that housed the headquarters, for which Unifica was hired. The management of the works was assumed by Bárcenas and affected several floors, basements, garages and other dependencies, some works that were carried out between 2005 and 2010. On the one hand, one or more estimates were issued for the works of each floor and, Once the work was finished, the final certification was issued, the amount of which constituted the taxable base of the invoice that included the reforms.

Parallel to this dynamic, the sentence indicates, Bárcenas and Urquijo agreed that “that a part of the payments corresponding to said works would be paid with the B funds that he managed, agreeing to apply a discount by Unifica of between a 7% and 8% of the amount of the works paid with such funds, with the consequent savings for both the PP and UNIFICA in the fulfillment of their tax obligations ”.

Only the amounts corresponding to the invoices issued by Unifica from 2005 to 2011 appeared in the official PP accounting sent to the Court of Auditors, “on the contrary, concealing all the unbilled payments from the control and supervision of the Court of Accounts. carried out by the various remodeling works outside of the official billing and accounting and with cash funds that were satisfied ”. At the same time that the PP paid with black money, the company was able to “hide from the Public Treasury the perception of the referred payments in B, avoiding its corresponding tax obligations.”

The PP and the company also agreed to simulate the correct fulfillment of their tax obligations by preparing the architects’ office documents, such as certifications of works, invoices and payment receipts, in which data that did not correspond to reality were omitted or recorded. of the facts. “The total amount of the amounts paid by the defendant Mr. Bárcenas to Unifica for the works carried out at the headquarters of the PP (c / Génova, 13 Madrid), regardless of the invoicing and official accounting, and not declared to the Public Treasury, amounted to 1,072,000 euros “, concludes the Hearing.

The court dedicates a section to explain what facts it has judged and which ones are outside the sentence. “The scope of prosecution is limited to determining the facts and their criminal relevance in relation to the keeping and management of a B accounting for the internal control of the donations received by the political formation, the lack of declaration to the Public Treasury of the same in the 2008 Corporate Tax “, he clarifies. In this sense, he explains that” the origin and purpose of the donations “to the PP continue to be investigated in the Central Court of Instruction number 5 of the National Court, as well as that the bonuses have already been excluded from the investigation, as they are possible widely prescribed tax crimes.

The ruling refers to “certain outflows or payments in B, such as the payments of part of the reform works of the party headquarters to Unifica Servicios Integrales SL and the acquisition of shares of Libertad Digital, adhering to the time frame of 2007 and 2008 “.