Gürtel ringleader picked up part of the tab for wedding of ex-PM Aznar’s daughter

Amount of 32,425 euros was marked down as losses on accounts seized by police Ana Botella denies lavish gift was bargaining chip from corrupt business network

Ana Aznar Botella and Alejandro Agag on their wedding day at El Escorial.
Ana Aznar Botella and Alejandro Agag on their wedding day at El Escorial.Ricardo Gutiérrez (EL PAÍS)

Documentation handed to the High Court as part of the ongoing investigation into the Gürtel ring and its links to the Popular Party has revealed that the corruption network paid 32,425 euros toward the wedding of former Prime Minister José María Aznar’s daughter.

The union between Ana Aznar and businessman Alejandro Agag took place amid great fanfare at El Escorial monastery outside Madrid in 2002. On the corrupt business network’s own accounts, which were seized by police from a warehouse in an industrial park to the south of the capital, the costs incurred were for lighting, generators, parking, accreditations, scaffolding and other items. No charge to the client was noted on the accounts, with the 32,452 marked down as losses.

Francisco Correa, who at that time was responsible for organizing the majority of the PP’s electoral campaign events, acted as a witness for Agag at the lavish wedding, which was attended by the king and queen, Silvio Berlusconi, Tony Blair and many representatives of the Spanish political elite.

Ana Botella, now the mayor of Madrid and Aznar’s wife, said on Tuesday that nothing had been asked for in return for Correa’s wedding gift. “The doubt is offensive,” she added.

Agag’s representatives sent a statement to EL PAÍS in which he stated that Correa had merely paid for the lighting rigging for the reception. “It was a standard service offered by Mr Correa during that time through his events agency. Mr Agag was unaware of the amount paid for that service. Mr Agag held no public post at that time and Mr Correa was not indicted in any judicial investigation at the time.”

“As my son-in-law said, it was a present for a wedding that took place 11 years ago on the part of an invitee of the bride and groom,” Botella told reporters. “I have nothing to add to what my son-in-law has said.”

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