09:42 GMT24 February 2020
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    MADRID (Sputnik) - Former Spanish prime ministers Mariano Rajoy and Jose Maria Aznar will testify before the National Court in a trial on alleged financial misconduct within their right-leaning party Partido Popular (People's Party, PP), the Spanish state television said on Tuesday.

    According to the TVE broadcaster, they will be asked whether they knew or not about the existence of a "b-box," or an unofficial party fund that was topped up through illegal means, an allegation put forward against the entire party leadership by former treasurer Jose Luis Barcenas, now jailed for 33 years within the same case.

    The large-scale scandal involving the PP's illicit funds has been ongoing for several years now and is known in Spain as the Gurtel case. It alleges businessman Francisco Correa Sanchez in using the party and its members for money laundering and tax evasion at the cost of bribes and kickbacks.

    The upcoming trial is specifically about 900,000 euros ($980,000) that the party spent for its Madrid headquarters' renovation in 2007-2008 – the prosecution believes the money came from the unaccounted shadow fund.

    Aside from Rajoy and Aznar, witnesses will include all former People's Party general secretaries, several ministers and the former senate head, as well as the construction companies OHL, Sacyr и FCC that were hired for repairs in Madrid.

    This will be Rajoy's second time to testify within the Gurtel case. In 2018, it cost him a vote of no confidence and subsequent ouster as prime minister. 

    Tags:
    Spanish People's Party, Spanish national court, testimony, Mariano Rajoy, Spain
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