The eldest son of longtime Catalan premier Jordi Pujol spent five hours inside Spain’s High Court on Monday, answering questions regarding the business dealings that earned him €7.5 million between 2004 and 2012.
Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, who was released without having any precautionary measure imposed upon him, has been targeted by investigators for over a year after a former girlfriend told police that he often traveled to Andorra and returned with bags full of €500 notes. He is suspected of tax fraud and money laundering.
Additionally, a police report from July linked Pujol Ferrusola’s highly successful business ventures to “political initiatives by people within his most intimate circle,” an apparent reference to his father, Jordi Pujol, who was in power for 23 years and was head of the nationalist party Convergència Democrática de Catalunya (CDC), one half of the CiU bloc that rules the region. He was Catalonia’s most renowned leader and is considered one of the fathers of contemporary Catalan nationalism.
On Monday, the 56-year-old Pujol Ferrusola denied having charged illegal commissions from companies who received Catalan government contracts under his father’s administration.
Police investigators believe the invoices were a cover for illegal commissions in exchange for government contracts
The inquiry led by High Court judge Pablo Ruz found that five companies owned by Pujol Ferrusola and his wife Mercè Gironés charged eight contractors €7.5 million for alleged consulting and mediation services. But police investigators questioned the existence of such services, and posited that the invoices were really a cover for illegal commissions in exchange for government contracts.
The money was then sent to bank accounts in 13 different countries, including several tax havens.
According to his defense, Pujol Ferrusola, the eldest of seven children born to Jordi Pujol and Marta Ferrusola, detailed all his business dealings “invoice by invoice.”
The family patriarch, Jordi Pujol, 84, is himself involved in a financial scandal after he admitted in July that he had kept a fortune hidden in tax havens for 34 years, and only recently settled his dues with the Spanish Tax Agency.