The first entry in box b is dated April 1990 and says “delivery of RN” (Rosendo Naseiro, according to Bárcenas) of eight million pesetas. Next, the papers collect different payments to the lawyer who managed to free the former PP treasurer from the cause of corruption that was persecuting him.
Naseiro emerged unscathed from that judicial process for a formal matter: the wiretaps that uncovered the scandal were looking for drugs and not political corruption. And they were canceled.
Rosendo Naseiro resigned as treasurer in 1990 but was not replaced until three years later by Álvaro Lapuerta. During that period without a head in the treasury, the young Bárcenas began to keep the accounts of box b of the PP through a secret notebook in which only he wrote .
As of 1993, Álvaro Lapuerta began to control these accounts by stamping on the margins of the sheets a kind of visa with which he gave his approval, according to Bárcenas.
EL PAÍS made those papers public on January 31, 2013 . Each sheet of the notebook consisted of five columns – date, concept, debit, credit and balance – and on it Bárcenas wrote in his own hand the names of those who gave money and those who benefited from those funds.
Judges, prosecutors and police who have analyzed the content of these documents for eight years give absolute credibility to what is written there. There are numerous notes that the investigation has managed to prove as true, but there are others for which there is no definitive evidence. That makes the oral trial that begins on February 8 in a new opportunity to clarify some controversial points of the parallel accounting of the PP.
What follows attempts to clarify the true facts of the Bárcenas papers because the investigation has managed to tie up all the dots to prove it. It also points out some of the main doubts that exist about certain annotations.
The calligraphic experts who have analyzed the parallel accounting of the PP, some commissioned by this newspaper and others by court order, maintain that the handwriting is by Luis Bárcenas without a doubt and that the papers were written during that period between 1990 and 2008 : “The writings have not been made in unity of act.
They have all the parameters to be able to be carried out on the dates indicated in each entry ”. These expert opinions rule out that Bárcenas prepared an accounting in a single act, inventing income and expenses many years later to harm all the people – politicians and businessmen – who are cited in their papers.
The PP laundered part of the money b that it received through income of less than 60,000 euros in the account for anonymous donations that it had opened in a bank in front of the headquarters of Genoa 13.
Example: Bárcenas wrote down a donation of 120,000 euros from a businessman one day; in the official accounts of the PP appear that same day two entries of 60,000 euros in the account of anonymous donations. This circumstance is repeated numerous times over the years. Bárcenas wrote that income on his papers in the donation account with the entry “Banco de Vitoria” .
This entity was absorbed in September 2003 by Banesto. Bárcenas began to write the name of Banesto on his papers from 2004 with an arrow that came out of the word Banco de Vitoria.
Bárcenas wrote many times over 20 years the names of the PP vice secretaries and general secretaries on the papers in box b . Each quarter, it delivered different amounts of cash to the party leadership in the form of a bonus that did not carry personal income tax withholding because they were not declared to the Treasury.
All those alleged beneficiaries (Rodrigo Rato, Javier Arenas, Mariano Rajoy, Ángel Acebes, Jaime Mayor Oreja, Francisco Álvarez Cascos or Dolores de Cospedal) declared to the judge, or to the press, that they never received money from the party that they had not declared to the Treasury.
Bárcenas has not been able to prove in seven years that he gave money to those political leaders, although he wrote so in his papers and declared it in the National Court.
There are other bonuses or payments to political positions of the PP that have been confirmed by their recipients, such as Cristóbal Páez, former manager of the party who received a bonus of 6,000 euros not declared to the Treasury; o Pío García Escudero, former president of the Senate, who received 6,000 euros from box b to repair his home, damaged by an ETA attack; or Jaime Ignacio del Burgo, who carried cash to different positions in Navarra and the Basque Country.
There are only two sheets of Bárcenas’ papers different from the rest and they are the ones that collect the movements of 2008. There is a bonus payment to Dolores de Cospedal for 7,500 euros corresponding to the third quarter of 2008 and another for the same amount corresponding to the fourth quarter of that year.
Cospedal, who was then secretary general of the PP, maintains that she never received anything from Bárcenas. The former treasurer has even declared that he was meeting with Cospedal in a Senate office to discuss illegal contributions from companies for the PP campaign in Castilla-La Mancha. Neither of these extremes has been credited during the investigation.
José María Aznar presided over the Popular Party between 1990 and 2004, a period in which an opaque bank operated to the treasury , bonuses were paid to numerous PP leaders without declaring the Treasury, and a corrupt business plot led by Francisco Correa did business thanks to numerous popular leaders, according to the judicial investigation.
Most of the crimes that the justice is investigating in relation to the irregular functioning of the Popular Party took place with Aznar in command of the conservative formation. A large representation of the corrupt of the Gürtel plot attended in September 2002 the wedding of the daughter of the former president of the Government, Ana Aznar, with the businessman Alejandro Agag.
YA corrupt network company paid the bride and groom a part of the expenses of organizing the celebrations of that ceremony, with 1,100 guests.
Bárcenas noted on his papers the payment of numerous bonuses to the leadership of the PP (general secretaries, deputy general secretaries and even the president, in the stage of Mariano Rajoy). Although Aznar’s name does not appear in the notes as a recipient of bonuses, Bárcenas did write down some payments with information on who ordered them : “By JM’s indication.”
When the judge asked him about those annotations, Bárcenas doubted: “It could be José María Aznar or Jaime Mayor, I can’t say so.” The fact is that during the years in which Bárcenas wrote those observations in his notebook, Jaime Mayor did not have sufficient powers or authority in the party to order those payments.
Jaime Ignacio del Burgo was in charge of bringing cash to a former Navarrese health counselor, Calixto Ayesa, and to victims of PP terrorism whose businesses ETA had destroyed. That money came out of the box by the judge tried to find out more:
Judge.- Who takes the agreement to pay those amounts?
Del Burgo.- The president, the party president.
Judge.- Who was it?
Del Burgo.- José María Aznar.
If Aznar knew that those payments that they supposedly ordered were made with money from illegal donations that swelled a box b, it is something that no one has proven during the investigation.
Luis Bárcenas hid a multimillion-dollar estate in Switzerland . The hidden and undeclared money in Spain amounted to 48 million euros. In fact, the investigation has proven that the ex-treasurer of the PP made dozens of trips important amounts of money in two banks, Lombard Odier and Dresdner Bank, but only for about eight million euros.
And that this money was invested by Bárcenas in shares of large companies that not only appreciated a lot – in some cases, up to triple their value – but also generated millionaire dividends that Bárcenas added to both accounts, which ended up adding the 48 million that came to save in that country. Although he tried to justify to the judge the origin of the money in alleged private businesses, he was not able to prove it.
The investigation has not been able to clarify whether Bárcenas kept a part of the illegal donations from companies to the PP. He has denied it, and no employer named in the parallel accounts has declared that he donated more money than noted on the papers. In fact, most businessmen have denied making such donations .
Judge Pablo Ruz, who led the first years of the investigation in the case opened by the Bárcenas papers , came to charge all the businessmen who appeared cited in the parallel accounting. Although all of them denied having delivered the amounts noted by Bárcenas, Ruz tried to prove that the payments were related to the awarding of public contracts to donors by administrations governed by the PP.
His attempt was useless and he had to close the proceedings against the employers . But some years later, during the Gürtel case trialsome of the defendants pointed out that the donations to the PP were supposedly linked to public contracts.
It was then that Judge José de la Mata, who replaced Ruz, pulled on that thread that is still being investigated and where some solid evidence of this illegal practice has already been collected . That separate piece of investigation won’t be judged for another year at least, though.