Probe launched into 21 Gürtel suspects who might have used tax amnesty

List includes head of alleged corruption ring, former town mayors and construction magnates

The Anticorruption Prosecutor has asked Judge Pablo Ruz, who is in charge of the Gürtel kickbacks-for-contracts probe, to ask the tax authorities to investigate whether 21 people implicated in the case took advantage of a controversial tax amnesty in place last year to regularize previously undeclared assets. The names on the list include the alleged ringleader of the network, Francisco Correa, and his right-hand man Pablo Crespo.

The request followed the emergence of evidence suggesting that the former treasurer of the ruling Popular Party (PP), Luis Bárcenas, and the owner of the construction company Constructora Hispánica, Alfonso García Pozuelo, had availed themselves of the amnesty.

The construction firm allegedly donated a total of 600,000 euros to the PP between 2002 and 2003, according to a concealed accounting system supposedly compiled by Bárcenas to account for payments to PP officials and donations, many of which were anonymous.

Apart for Correa and Crespo, Ruz will ask the tax agency to look into tax declarations made by Correa’s ex-wife Carmen Rodríguez Quijano and Bárcenas’ wife, Rosalía Iglesias. The judge will also inquire into the tax situation of the businessman José Luis Ulibarri and the ex-mayors of the Madrid region towns of Boadilla del Monte, Majadahonda, Arganda del Rey and Pozuelo de Alarcón, respectively Arturo González Panero, Guillermo Ortega, Ginés López Rodríguez and Jesús Sepúlveda, all of whom were in the PP.

Also on the judge’s list is Fernando Martín, the former chairman of construction group Martinsa-Fadesa, which suffered the biggest bankruptcy in Spanish corporate history. Martín was also briefly the president of Real Madrid soccer club.

Errata

This article was corrected on February 6 to state that Rosalía Iglesias is Luis Bárcenas´ wife, and not his mother.

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