Prosecutor requests 8 to 29 years in prison for ex-Catalan president and his family

Jordi Pujol and his relatives were indicted for organized crime

Former Catalan president Jordi Pujol (center) and his wife Marta Ferrussola, sitting on his left (by Bernat Vilaró)
Former Catalan president Jordi Pujol (center) and his wife Marta Ferrussola, sitting on his left (by Bernat Vilaró) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

May 7, 2021 02:39 PM

The public prosecutor's office has requested former Catalan president Jordi Pujol serve a 9-year prison sentence in addition to jail time ranging from 8 to 29 years for his children and former daughter-in-law as the family faces an upcoming trial for organized crime and money laundering.

Pujol also faces a fine of over 38.7 million euros for money laundering and a €200 per month for two years fine for organized crime. If these are not paid, his prison sentence could be increased if he is found guilty.

Pujol's eldest son, Jordi Pujol Ferrusola, faces the highest sentence for forging documents, crimes against the tax office from 2007 to 2010 as well as in 2012, in addition to an attempted offense, organized crime, and money laundering. 

The public prosecutor has requested 17 years behind bars for Mercè Gironès, Jordi Pujol Ferrusola's ex-wife, while Josep Pujol Ferrusola faces 14 years for similar charges. 

Jordi Pujol's remaining childrenPere, Oleguer, Oriol, Mireia, and Martacould end up spending 8 years in prison. 

Spain’s National Court confirmed the indictment of Pujol and his relatives on April 20, including his wife Marta Ferrusola and their seven children, but the charges against Ferrussola were later dropped for health reasons.

Family "took advantage" of Pujol's position

In July 2020, the judge who led the investigation in Spain's National Court, José de la Mata, said he believed the family formed a criminal organization and, in a 509-page document, concluded that there was no solid evidence to prove that the Pujols' wealth came from inheriting the grandfather and banker Florenci Pujol's fortune.

The April 20 indictment stated the family had behaved as an illicit association or criminal organization due to their coordinated actions including simultaneously opening and closing bank accounts abroad as well as transferring funds between them in a strategy aimed at concealing the origin of the funds.

The court said that the family "took advantage of Pujol's position at the head of the Catalan government from which they obtained significant economic returns, which were deposited in bank accounts abroad and subjected to various transfers and transmissions, to hide their illicit origin."

Tainted political legacy

Jordi Pujol, aged 90, was the longest-serving president in Catalonia’s democratic history, but his mammoth political legacy was tainted by subsequent corruption scandals.

First appointed president in 1980, Pujol was reelected in five consecutive elections and ruled uninterrupted until 2003, leading Catalonia from Spain's democratic transition to the new millennium.

Pujol was also the founder of Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC), for years Catalonia’s hegemonic center-right party, until corruption scandals and tensions caused by the independence bid led to its dissolution, with its offspring dispersed between Junts per Catalunya and PDeCAT parties, among others.