Former PP treasurer Lapuerta denies existence of secret party accounts

Judicial sources say 85-year-old backs Bárcenas in asserting: “The accounts were always official”

Former Popular Party (PP) treasurer Álvaro Lapuerta on Thursday backed up the assertions of his successor, Luis Bárcenas, that the party only had officials accounts and did not keep secret ledgers detailing cash payments to PP members and donations, also in cash, from companies that exceeded legal limits, judiciary sources said.

The 85-year-old Lapuerta, who was PP treasurer from 1993 to 2008 before handing over the reins to longtime PP financial manager Bárcenas, testified before the anticorruption prosecutor Antonio Romeral for two hours on Thursday morning. “The accounting was always official,” the judicial sources quoted Lapuerta as having told Romeral.

Bárcenas had taken the same line when he appeared before Romeral the previous day. However, former PP lawmaker Jorge Trías told the prosecutor that copies of secret ledgers published by EL PÁIS showing dubious payments and donations were the same as those shown to him by Bárcenas a few years back.

Lapuerta testified that he had never seen any such documents allegedly compiled by Bárcenas. He said all the donations the PP had received were legal and sent by bank transfer.

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