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Only one suspect in Gürtel case took advantage of tax amnesty, says Montoro

Seven others implicated in corruption probe regularized tax situation through ordinary channels

Finance Minister Cristóbal Montoro said Wednesday that only one of the 21 people who have been implicated in the Gürtel kickbacks-for-contracts scandal took advantage of an amnesty in place last year to regularize his situation with the tax authorities.

Speaking in Congress in response to a question from a Socialist lawmaker, Montoro did not name the person in question. He limited himself to saying the person had declared 3,500 euros in previously undeclared funds and paid a tax charge of 350 euros. The information points to the former chairman of real estate company Martinsa-Fadesa, Fernando Martin, who has been linked to the corruption ring headed by Francisco Correa in connection with a property development in Arganda del Rey in the Madrid region.

Montoro mentioned only one person, but builder Alfonso García Pozuelo, who is also implicated in the Gürtel case, has acknowledged he took advantage of the amnesty.

Of the rest of those implicated in the Gürtel probe, seven regularized their tax situation through ordinary channels allowed by the legislation in the period 2005-2011, declaring income of 9.8 million euros that had previously been kept hidden from the taxman, Montoro said. Five of these took place before the ruling Popular Party came to power at the end of 2011, he added.

Montoro insisted that former PP treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, who is also implicated in the Gürtel case, had no right to avail himself of the amnesty because he was subject to a criminal investigation, and had tried to regularize his situation through a company of which he was not the owner.

Bárcenas earlier this month claimed in the High Court that he repatriated almost 11 million euros he held under one of his businesses in a Swiss bank account and paid the Treasury one million euros in taxes in the amnesty.

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