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Judge indicts former Catalan President Jordi Pujol, his wife, one son and two daughters

The former Catalan President and founder of the governing centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU, Jordi Pujol, confessed in July that his family had kept millions in fiscal havens for almost 35 years without informing tax authorities. Furthermore, in the last two years, several judicial and police investigations have implicated several of Jordi Pujol's sons in financial and corruption scandals. Now, the judge investigating the former Catalan President's confession has decided to indict him, as well as his wife, Marta Ferrussola, and three of their children: Mireia, Pere and Marta. Three other sons have been already indicted for other cases: Jordi (junior), Oriol and Oleguer. The fraud confessed by Jordi Pujol, who chaired the Catalan Government for 23 consecutive years (1980-2003) and was a key person during the fight against Franco and the democratic transition, has had a great impact upon Catalan society.

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16 December 2014 09:46 PM

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ACN

Barcelona (ACN).- The judge investigating the fiscal fraud confession made by the former Catalan President Jordi Pujol has decided to indict him, as well as his wife, Marta Ferrussola, and three of their children: Mireia, Pere and Marta. Three other sons have been already indicted for other cases: Jordi (junior), Oriol and Oleguer. The founder of the governing centre-right pro-Catalan State coalition CiU and one of the leaders of Spain's democratic transition, Jordi Pujol, confessed in July that his family had kept millions in fiscal havens for almost 35 years without informing tax authorities. Furthermore, in the last two years, several judicial and police investigations have implicated several of Jordi Pujol's sons in financial and corruption scandals. After the confession, Marta Ferrussola and three of their children modified their tax declarations since 2010 and paid additional money to the fiscal authorities. However, the judge had many doubts about the origin of the money kept in Andorra and believes that several offenses could have been committed, including fiscal fraud and money laundering.


On Tuesday, the judge investigating Jordi Pujol's fiscal fraud confession announced the indictment of the former President, his wife and three of their sons and daughters for an alleged fraud offense. They will have to testify before the judge, together with their lawyers, on the 27th of January.

Jordi Pujol, an essential politician in Spain between the 1970's and early 2000's

The fraud confessed by the veteran politician Jordi Pujol, who chaired the Catalan Government for 23 consecutive years (1980-2003) and was a key person during the fight against Franco and the democratic transition, has had a great impact upon Catalan society. Furthermore, it comes in the middle of the independence debate. Pujol, despite leading the conservative Catalan nationalism for decades, had opposed independence during all his life and had worked to reorganise Spain. In fact, his support was essential to pass some of the most important reforms or to support Felipe González's and José María Aznar's governments.

However, in 2012, Pujol started to openly support independence from Spain. There have been news published over the last few months stating that Spanish authorities knew about the Pujol family's irregular activities for many years but decided to look away since he had kept the pro-independence movement under control when he was the President of the Catalan Government. In 2012, police and judicial problems started for some of Pujol's sons. After two years of news, rumours, scandals and investigations, Jordi Pujol issued a surprising confession that was putting him in the spotlight.

A confession that shocked the Catalan society

Pujol's confession was made on the 25th of July and the judicial investigation was launched in early August. Pujol said that in 1980, a few months before becoming Catalan President, his father left a significant amount of money to his wife and children when he passed away, but that this money had been kept in secret until 2014, away from the tax authorities' reach.

The historic leader of the conservative Catalan nationalism did not inherit the money because his father feared political persecution, explained Pujol before the Catalan Parliament in late September, who also mentioned the political instability of the democratic transition and the 'coup d’état' of February 1981. Pujol's father had deposited the money in Switzerland and left it to his daughter-in law and grand-children, in case they had to quit Spain, said the former Catalan President in September.

Some €4.5 million kept in Andorra without informing tax authorities

When all the children became adults, the money was moved to Andorra by Pujol's oldest son, Jordi Pujol Ferrussola, and was kept there until 2014, without informing the Spanish tax authorities and therefore without paying any related tax for almost 35 years. Jordi Pujol said he could not find the opportunity to inform the tax authorities in those three and a half decades. The former Catalan President explained that the money in Andorra represented some €4.5 million in 2014 and he added that the amount had significantly grown over time, since in 1980 it was much less.

After a few months of investigations, the judge had many doubts about the origin of the money. In fact, there are many shadows regarding Jordi Pujol's version and his father inheritance of 1980. If the origin cannot be proved, some members of the Pujol family could be accused of money laundering. Besides this, the judge also believes that, taking into account the confession and other evidence, they may have committed tax fraud.

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  • Jordi Pujol (centre) and his wife, Marta Ferrussola, in their house in the Catalan Pyrenees this summer (by L. Busquets)

  • Jordi Pujol (centre) and his wife, Marta Ferrussola, in their house in the Catalan Pyrenees this summer (by L. Busquets)