Bárcenas judge orders new handwriting tests on ledgers

Ruz wants to know whether a signature belongs to ex-treasurer Álvaro Lapuerta

The judge investigating the Bárcenas case on Friday ordered new handwriting tests to compare the marks in the margins of ledgers that reputedly show the parallel accounting system operated by the ruling Popular Party.

High Court Judge Pablo Ruz wants to know beyond doubt whether one of the signatures on the documents is that of Luis Bárcenas' predecessor as PP treasurer, Álvaro Lapuerta, who is also an official suspect in the case. Everyone in the upper echelons of the party, including secretary general María Dolores de Cospedal, have previously praised Lapuerta for his professionalism and honesty.

The new test comes in the wake of the declarations that Bárcenas made to the court on July 15 in which he stated that his former boss Lapuerta, who oversaw the PP's accounts between 1993 and 2008, was aware of all the ledgers showing illegal donations and cash bonuses for party officials.

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