Court of Auditors investigates former Catalan cabinet for referendum funding

Former President Puigdemont and 17 members of his government are accused of allocating public money to organize the voting, which they deny

Demonstrators holding ballot boxes in Barcelona (by Nazaret Romero)
Demonstrators holding ballot boxes in Barcelona (by Nazaret Romero) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

December 20, 2018 05:08 PM

The Court of Auditors has opened an investigation into the October 1 referendum funding by the former Catalan cabinet. The court has admitted the lawsuits filed this Wednesday by the Auditors Prosecutor Office and the civil society entities Societat Civil Catalana and Catalans per la Constitució.

Now the court already investigating former Catalan president Puigdemont, 17 members of his government and the general auditor, Rosa Vidal for allegedly using public funds to organize the 2017 Catalan independence referendum.

The Prosecutor’s Office considers that the allocation of public funds to prepare the “illegal referendum” has been “verified”, but it does not specify the exact amount of money that was allegedly used. On the contrary, both civil society organizations claim that 2 million euros were allocated by the former Catalan government for the referendum.

If the case goes to trial, the department in charge will be the one led by Margarita Mariscal de Ghante, a member of José María Aznar's government, according to sources from the Court. It is the same department in charge of the trial for the voting held on November 9.

Puigdemont’s reaction

Former Catalan President Puigdemont has denied the accusations claiming that they show inconsistencies such as the disparity of numbers regarding the money that was used. Furthermore, Puigdemont has recalled the statements by former Spanish President Mariano Rajoy and former Finance minister Cristóbal Montoro, who said that the Catalan government had not spent “a single euro” to organize the referendum. In fact, the Catalan public finances were intervened by the central government months ahead of the voting.