Prosecutor presents conclusions in Gürtel corruption case
State attorney calls for People’s Party to pay back €245,000 from kickbacks and wants 125 years in prison for businessman ringleader
After more than a hundred sessions in court, Spain’s anti-corruption prosecutor has presented his conclusions in the so-called Gürtel investigation into alleged illegal funding of the People’s Party (PP). The prosecutor maintains the accusations against the PP, Spain’s ruling party, demanding that it return 245,000 euros it illegally raised in a kickbacks for contracts scheme involving 37 business and political figures.
The prosecutor is also continuing to ask for a 125-year prison sentence for the scheme’s main ringleader, businessman Francisco Correa, and more than 42 years in prison for former PP party treasurer, Luís Bárcenas. The investigation, the largest corruption case involving a political party during Spain’s modern democratic era, has lasted for over a year.
In July, Spanish president and PP leader, Mariano Rajoy, became the first serving Spanish premier to testify in a criminal case. Appearing as a witness, Rajoy emphatically denied any knowledge of an illegal scheme to fund his party.
The case is known as Gürtel (correa [belt] in Spanish) after the codename detectives gave the anti-corruption investigation into Correa and the allegations that he paid bribes to PP party officials between 1999 and 2006 in return for public contracts.