The Catalan President denies playing any part in the ‘Palau’ corruption case before a parliamentary committee

July 31, 2013 10:40 PM | ACN

Artur Mas, the President of the Catalan Government, challenged the opposition parties to present a vote of no-confidence if they want him to step down. Mas, who leads the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) and the Liberal party CDC, emphasised that CDC has been investigated “until the last millimetre” and the judge has not indicted any party leader or member of the Catalan Executive. He explained that the party’s finance management team and its political leadership have been separated since the late 1990s. The Catalan President insisted he believes in the word given by the party treasurer, who has been indicted by the judge. However, he guaranteed that, if the trial proves that CDC received any illegal money, the party “will return up to the last cent” and will take full responsibility for it. The opposition considered the explanations to be insufficient and demanded resignations if the corruption case is finally proven.

Judge indicts the Catalan Socialist Party’s CFO for the ‘Método 3’ political espionage case

July 19, 2013 06:23 PM | ACN

In February, the offices of the private detective company Método 3 in Barcelona were searched by the Spanish Police, who brought to court many documents and computers in order to start a thorough investigation on political espionage in Catalonia. The case is affecting the People’s Party (PP), the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) and the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC). The judicial investigation is still ongoing, but much of the information – most of the time contradictory – has been leaked in the past few months. The case’s main focus is the recording of a private conversation at a Barcelona restaurant between the leader of the Catalan PP, Alícia Sánchez-Camacho, and the former girlfriend of the oldest son of the CiU’s historical leader, Jordi Pujol. Who is behind the recording is still a mystery, but some voices have pointed towards the PP, the CiU or the PSC. However, the PSC is the first one to have one of its members indicted.

The Catalan President and CDC leader, Artur Mas, guarantees he will react if the party’s corruption scandal is proved

July 17, 2013 09:37 PM | ACN

The day after the judge ended his investigation and stated he believed the governing party Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC) had earned 5.1 million in an influence peddling case, the party’s leader and President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, talked in front of the Catalan Parliament. Mas stated that the judge’s suspicions about CDC were “not proved” and he underlined the trial had not started yet. The Catalan President said he believed in the word of the party members involved in the scandal. However, he also stated that, if at the end the suspicions are backed up with proofs, he “will be the first one to act” as the party leader. The opposition parties asked Mas for further explanations.

Judge believes the governing and main Catalan party CDC earned €5.1 million in an influence peddling case

July 16, 2013 09:30 PM | ACN

CDC fully denies the accusations. The judge investigating one of the major corruption scandals in Catalonia, the so-called ‘Palau’ case, has finished the four-year investigation and now the trial can start. The judge accuses Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC) – the Liberal party within the governing Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition CiU – of having illicitly received €5.1 million from the construction company Ferrovial through donations made to Barcelona’s Palau de la Música concert hall. The judge believes the money was allegedly given in exchange for the allocation of public work contracts. The former treasurer of CDC and a former Catalan MP, as well as two managers of Ferrovial are accused. In addition, the judge will also bring to trial the main managers of the Palau de la Música, Fèlix Millet and Jordi Montull. Millet and Montull are also accused of having stolen €26 million from the cultural organisation.

The Catalan Justice Minister is indicted as witness regarding an influence peddling case

July 4, 2013 01:04 AM | CNA

Following a petition by the Spanish Public Prosecutor Office, the judge has called Germà Gordó, the Catalan Minister of Justice, to testify as witness in the alleged influence peddling case of the allocation of licenses to technical vehicle inspection garages. This case affects the ‘Number 3’ of the governing Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), Oriol Pujol, since the Supreme Court of Catalonia (TSJ) suspects he could have participated in irregular allocation of these licenses. At the time the alleged incidents happened, Gordó was not the Justice Minister but the Secretary of the Catalan Government, a key position overseeing all the daily decisions of the Executive. The TSJ wants to hear Gordó’s version of the tender procedure. Besides, Pujol’s defence has called the former Catalan Business Minister as a witness, since his department was running the tender.

The Spanish Public Prosecution Office accuses the governing Catalan Nationalist Party CDC of corruption

June 14, 2013 08:57 PM | CNA

After a four-year investigation, the Public Prosecution Office – which comes under the jurisdiction of the Spanish Ministry of Justice – is accusing Convergència Democràtica de Catalunya (CDC), the main force within the two-party coalition Convergència i Unió (CiU) which runs the Catalan Government, of having received €6.6 million in “illegal commission” from the construction company Ferrovial. CDC immediately denied the accusations, stating they have never received hidden money, not the party or its think-tank, the CatDem Foundation. In addition, they lamented the fact that the Public Prosecutor is basing the accusation “on speculations and mere conjecture” and that “it is not backed by any evidence”.

The 'number 3' of the governing Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) is indicted for influence peddling

March 19, 2013 10:57 PM | CNA

The Supreme Court of Catalonia (TSJC) has indicted Oriol Pujol, who is the ‘number three’ of the CiU – who run the Catalan Government – over a case of influence peddling regarding an irregular public tender for technical vehicle inspection garages. After his indictment was announced, Pujol “delegated” his party and parliamentary roles as Secretary General of CDC – the Liberal and largest force within the two-party coalition CiU – and as Chairman of the CiU group in the Catalan Parliament. However, Pujol explained that he would not resign as an MP, as it would be “out of proportion”. The Catalan politician insisted that he was innocent and he hoped justice would act quickly. The opposition has displayed a divided reaction: some parties have left it to the CiU to decide whether Pujol’s decision was enough while others heavily criticised him continuing as an MP.

The ‘number three’ in the Catalan Socialist Party is indicted for influence peddling

March 15, 2013 10:56 PM | CNA

Catalonia’s Supreme Court (TSJC) has announced the indictment of Daniel Fernández, a Member of the Catalan Parliament and Organisation Secretary in the Catalan Socialist Party (PSC). Fernández has resigned from his party and Parliamentary positions, but he will continue to be an MP while waiting to find out whether he will go on trial in the end. The High Court believed there to be signs that Fernández could have committed a felony of influence peddling by participating in the irregular hiring process of a manager in one of Greater Barcelona’s municipalities. The anti-corruption prosecutor and the judges investigating the so-called ‘Mercuri’ case, dealing with municipal corruption in Greater Barcelona mostly affecting members of the PSC, asked for Fernández’s indictment to the TSJC since he is an MP.

The Spanish Government admits that the report accusing the Catalan President of corruption is not official

March 12, 2013 10:15 PM | CNA

A few hours earlier, the Swiss bank Lombard Odier stated that the Catalan presidents Artur Mas and Jordi Pujol do not have any relationship with the company. The Spanish nationalist newspaper ‘El Mundo’ published a report 9 days before the Catalan elections, with the official stamp of the Spanish Police on it, accusing the incumbent President of the Catalan Government, and candidate for re-election from the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), Artur Mas, of having secret accounts in Switzerland. The fake report also incriminated Mas’ family, the former Catalan President Jordi Pujol and two of Pujol’s sons. The report completely altered the election campaign. Now, four months after the report was issued, the Catalan Government has demanded a public rectification since some Spanish Ministers and leading members of the People’s Party validated the report at the time.

The President of the Catalan Government proposes 51 measures to fight corruption and increase transparency

February 22, 2013 11:53 PM | CNA

After holding the second high-level meeting with top representatives from all the public powers involved in the fight against corruption and fraud in Catalonia, the Catalan President, Artur Mas, presented a document setting out a list of measures. The document takes into account suggestions and comments by all the attending public powers, but it is not a joint text issued by all the participants, Mas emphasised, as it is only signed by the President of the Catalan Government. An initial meeting was organised on the 6th of February to exchange views and gather ideas. The listed measures relate to transparency, public contracts, judicial capacities, political parties, control bodies and democratic regeneration.

High-level meeting in Catalonia to improve the fight against corruption after the latest scandals

February 6, 2013 10:41 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, organised a summit with top representatives from all the public powers involved in the fight against corruption and fraud to exchange ideas and come up with a set of measures. Political parties were not invited and some of them have protested. After the meeting, Mas explained that the attendees agreed to transform the Transparency Agreement from 2001 regarding the funding of political parties into a law in order to enforce it. Furthermore, the Catalan Government will allocate more resources to the judicial powers investigating the main corruption cases. The attendees agreed to compile the initiatives discussed in a document and meet again in two weeks’ time.

The public prosecutor office asks for the indictment of CiU’s ‘number 3’ for influence peddling

February 4, 2013 10:33 PM | CNA

Oriol Pujol, the Secretary General of the CDC, the Liberal party within the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU), “fully denies” the accusations and hopes he will not finally be indicted. However, he stated that “nobody within the CiU will be an obstacle to Catalonia’s self-determination process”, indicating that if he is formally accused of influence peddling in the end, he might temporarily step down from the political front-line. The anti-corruption prosecutor suspects that Pujol participated in the plot to irregularly allocate licenses for technical vehicle inspection garages. After the President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, and the leader of the Christian-Democrat side of the CiU, Josep Antoni Duran i Lleida, Oriol Pujol is the coalition’s ‘number 3’ and Chairman of the CiU’s group in the Catalan Parliament.

The President of the Catalan Government calls for a summit to strengthen the fight against corruption

February 1, 2013 10:58 PM | CNA

The President of the Catalan Government and leader of the Centre-Right Catalan Nationalist Coalition (CiU) is organising a summit to define new initiatives against corruption. The meeting will be held next week and will gather together the main representatives of the Catalan Parliament, the Supreme Court of Justice of Catalonia, the Catalan Ombudsman, the Catalan Court of Audit and the Anti-Fraud Office of Catalonia. Political parties are not invited, as the summit is thought to be “complementary” to Parliament’s actions. The Catalan President will ask the attendees to provide him with ideas so that he can channel them and put them on the table for a wider debate. In the last few months, many corruption scandals have affected politicians in Catalonia and the rest of Spain.