THE POLITICS OF CORRUPTION

Catalan nationalists will demand police chief explain rogue reports

Other opposition parties join calls for top officials to appear in Congress to account for anonymous corruption claims

After weeks of leaked investigative reports on corruption focusing on some of their leaders being aired in the press, the Catalan CiU nationalist bloc will demand on Wednesday that Police Chief Ignacio Cosidó appear before Congress to explain why this rash of anonymous reports is being released at a time when the coalition is on an independence drive.

The unsigned reports, which have not been commissioned by any judicial body, purportedly show that Catalan regional premier Artur Mas and his CiU predecessor Jordi Pujol have been involved in a series of kickback schemes involving public contracts, and that both have bank accounts in offshore tax havens.

The rogue investigative documents mix facts from cases that have already been explored by the courts with other unsourced data that has not been verified or is pure fabrication.

Other opposition groups such as Catalan Republican Left (ERC) and the Socialists also want to hear explanations from Cosidó. Lawmakers from the Basque Nationalist Party (PNV) have also asked Interior Minister Jorge Fernández Díaz to appear in Congress to explain the origin of the reports, such as the one allegedly compiled by the police’s Fiscal and Economic Crime Unit (UDEF) stating that both Mas and Pujol have accounts in Switzerland.

The report makes reference to these accounts but offers no proof. Nor does it state whether judges or prosecutors have actually investigated the matter.

The document is undated and is reportedly a preliminary investigative report, which was first published by the Madrid-based daily El Mundo just two days before the Catalan regional elections on November 25.

Mas and his CiU bloc have accused Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and his conservative Popular Party government of being behind the leaks in a bid to derail the drive to hold a regional sovereignty vote in 2014.

Rules
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS
Recomendaciones EL PAÍS