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Extreme-right organisation files a complaint against former Catalan President Jordi Pujol for corruption

Manos Limpias, a Spanish far-right nationalist trade union, has finally filed a judicial complaint for corruption against the historical leader of Catalan nationalism and President of Catalonia between 1980 and 2003, Jordi Pujol, and his wife, Marta Ferrussola. For the last two years, there has been increasing news that allegedly link Pujol's sons to illegal businesses and hidden fortunes. On top of this, two weeks ago, Pujol confessed that his family had been hiding money from the tax authorities for 35 years. This immediately provoked a political earthquake since Pujol is an essential figure in Catalonia's and Spain's contemporary history: he worked to expand Catalonia's autonomy within Spain but in the last two years he started to support independence. Spanish nationalist forces believe that Pujol's fall will have a fatal effect on the self-determination process. However, there are also many rumours stating that the  Spanish authorities might have been protecting Pujol for decades since he was against independence.

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13 August 2014 10:01 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- Manos Limpias, a Spanish far-right nationalist trade union, has finally filed a judicial complaint against the historical leader of Catalan nationalism and President of Catalonia between 1980 and 2003, Jordi Pujol, and his wife, Marta Ferrussola. They accuse the former leader of the centre-right Catalan nationalist coalition CiU, which currently runs the Catalan Government, of public money embezzlement, influence peddling, bribery, money laundering, fiscal fraud and forging official documents. During the last two years, there have been increasing rumours and news, allegedly linking some of Pujol's sons to illegal businesses and hidden fortunes. On top of this, two weeks ago, Pujol confessed that his family had been hiding money from his father's inheritance from the tax authorities for 35 years. This immediately provoked a political earthquake since Pujol is an essential figure in Catalonia's, but also in Spain's, contemporary history, despite the fact that he has been retired from front-line politics for a decade. In addition, in the last two years he has publicly embraced pro-independence stances, although he had previously spent his life advocating for greater self-rule for Catalonia within Spain. A similar change was undertaken by the party he founded, CDC – the Liberal and largest party within the CiU coalition, which is now leading the self-determination process. For these reasons, Spanish nationalist parties and media outlets immediately linked Pujol's fraud to Catalan self-determination and the development of Catalonia's self-rule for the last 4 decades. In addition, they have been using the case to attack the pro-independence movement since they believe that his fall could have a fatal effect on Catalan nationalism. However, at the same time, there are many rumours stating that the Spanish authorities might have been protecting Pujol against corruption investigations for decades, since, he was precisely against independence and was guaranteeing to keep Catalonia within Spain. Manos Limpias backed those rumours.


This Wednesday morning, Manos Limpias' Secretary General, Miguel Bernad, filed a complaint against Jordi Pujol and his wife, Marta Ferrussola, accusing him of a long list of fiscal felonies and his spouse of being an accomplice. Bernad filed the complaint in Barcelona court, as well as the €6,000 bail that the judge asked the organisation to provide in order to file such a complaint. The extreme-right trade union launched a crowd-funding campaign to raise the money and they stated that they reached the amount in about one day. Manos Limpias is accusing the Pujol family of having set up a corruption "network" in Catalonia, which involved the payment of "systematic" commissions paid by companies making business with the Catalan Government between 1980 and 2003, the 23 years Pujol chaired the Executive. The Spanish nationalist organisation also asked the judge to set up cautionary measures, such as taking away Pujol's and Ferrusola's passports, obliging them to appear in front of a court every 8 days, and – despite their old age (he is 84 and she is 79) – cautionary jail time, which could be avoided after paying a bail.

Manos Limpias implicates the Spanish authorities in Pujol's alleged corruption

Bernad told the press in front of the court building that, since they announced that they would file such a complaint (some two weeks ago), they had received plenty of information and documents from "witnesses" that, directly or indirectly, are linked to alleged offenses associated with  the formed Catalan President. The leader of the far-right Spanish nationalist organisation added that "Catalonia's Anti-Fraud Office has been receiving much information about corruption regarding this topic and they have looked the other way", rejecting to investigate, according to Bernad. Manos Limpias – which literally means "Clean Hands" but has nothing to do with the homonym Italian initiative from the 1990s – emphasised that they will ask "why the complaints filed by businessmen to the Anti-Fraud Office had not been investigated".

In addition, the leader of the Spanish nationalist group stressed that they have "information that certifies that official cars of the Catalan Government have been going to Geneva and Zurich, directly to banks". "It is totally unusual that this happens with public funds, and it represents a serious situation that shows a political and financial network with the complicity of [Spain's] Public Prosecution Office and the national governments, which had Pujol's complicity". "They [the Spanish authorities] knew about it in a clear and determinant way", he underlined.Inici del formulari

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  • The Secretary General of Manos Limpias, before filing the complaint against Jordi Pujol (by R. Garrido)

  • The Secretary General of Manos Limpias, before filing the complaint against Jordi Pujol (by R. Garrido)