Bárcenas files complaint against PP for workplace maltreatment

Legal crossfire intensifies as ex-treasurer's old employer sues EL PAÍS over ledger publication

Both the Popular Party (PP) and its former treasurer, Luis Bárcenas, this week landed further legal blows in the ongoing row following the discovery of an alleged slush fund that the ex-moneyman used to make under-the-table payments to party members.

On Tuesday, Bárcenas filed a complaint against the PP for workplace maltreatment with the Madrid Labor Office. The ex-treasurer believes last week's decision by his old employer to empty the office in which he had stored his belongings and computers, constituted "an attack on his privacy as a worker."

He said the objects had been in the room since March 2010 when he was relieved of his post as treasurer due to his implication in the Gürtel graft scandal. He had since been receiving a salary as a party consultant until his dismissal at the end of January after the discovery he was holding millions in Swiss accounts, and the publication by EL PAÍS of ledgers he allegedly kept while treasurer showing illegal payments to PP officials, including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

The Madrid office immediately referred the complaint to the General Labor Inspection Office, which has summoned the PP to appear on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the PP has lodged a civil suit against EL PAÍS over its publication of the ledgers. The suit is also directed at "the author of the false documents published which, according to the media company, is Luis Bárcenas, even though he has denied it publicly and before the anti-corruption public prosecutor." The move means the party avoids direct legal action against Bárcenas. Leading PP figures Ángel Acebes, Javier Arenas, Jaime Mayor Oreja and Rodrigo Rato have added their names to the suit.

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