An investigating judge has turned to Switzerland for answers to how the former treasurer of the ruling Popular Party (PP) managed to amass 38 million euros or more over the last decade. Judge Pablo Ruz is seeking a connection between this money and illegal commissions allegedly paid to Luis Bárcenas by the Gürtel ring, a bribes-for-contracts scheme in which many PP officials are implicated.
In court statements on February 25, Bárcenas said he had accounts in two Swiss banks, Dresdner and Lombard Odier, and once held around 38 million euros there. Spanish authorities previously believed this amount to be 22 million euros.
Now, Judge Ruz wants to know more details about the Dresdner account, including who opened it, when, and what transactions were made. The goal is to compare those transactions with alleged payments to one "L.Barc," "LB" and "L.Barcenas" who showed up in accounts kept by the Gürtel ring. These payments were made between 2002 and 2004, and were allegedly used to bribe PP officials in exchange for public contracts. The police believe the person who shows up on the ledgers is "without any shadow of a doubt" the ex-PP treasurer and former senator, Luis Bárcenas Gutiérrez.