Monday, May 10

The judge of the ‘Bárcenas papers’ decides to investigate 23 contracts of the Aznar stage for 569 million

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The judge of the National Court Santiago Pedraz, who has temporarily taken charge of the investigation of the ‘Bárcenas papers’ until the arrival of the substitute of magistrate José de la Mata, has agreed this Friday to claim the procurement files for 23 works awarded between 2002 and 2004 -time of the Government of Aznar- to the businessman Alfonso García Pozuelo.

The owner of Constructora Hispánica (previously, Assignia Infraestructuras) was awarded these contracts, alone or in a joint venture with other companies. Some of these (Sando, Copasa, Copisa or Azvi), as well as García Pozuelo himself, are listed as PP donors in the annotations made by the former treasurer of the party, currently in prison.

Pedraz has decided to undertake the investigation of the awards, the amount of which amounts to 569.1 million euros, at the proposal of the UDEF and after hearing the parties. None of them has opposed this inquiry, which the prosecutor and the State Attorney have expressly supported.

The largest contract (188.1 million euros) refers to the construction of a platform for the line of León-Asturias high speed train in the section of the Pajares tunnels. The work, put out to tender by Adif in March 2003, was awarded to a joint venture in which Assignia had 25% and Azvi another 25%.

Ministries and public companies

In addition to Adif, the files affect other public companies such as Aena, Siep and Sepes; to the then Ministries of Development, Environment, Education, Culture and Sports, Interior and Defense, and to organizations such as the State Tax Administration Agency, the Spanish Tourism Institute, Renfe, and the Tajo and Guadalquivir Hydrographic Confederations.

The instructor points out in his resolution that, incidentally, Luis Bárcenas and his predecessor in the PP treasury, Álvaro Lapuerta (now deceased), along with businessman Francisco Correa “defined and implemented a system to obtain funds illicitly for the Popular Party and for themselves, in exchange for mobilizing influence and taking steps in favor of the providers of such funds. “

To do this, they allegedly “agreed with various businessmen to carry out these deliveries of funds in cash at the headquarters of the PP as apparent donations “.

The funds would have been given in exchange for Lapuerta and Bárcenas providing “direct contacts with the political leader” of the entity or Administration awarded the contracts that are of interest in each case.

Thanks to this, they have sometimes managed to “direct” the awarding of contracts, “making the process appear to be legality but violating the general principles of contracting advertising, competition, objectivity and transparency.”

Pedraz maintains that there is an “indicative causal relationship between the donations, the actions taken to establish contacts and the established relationships.”

“Sometimes”, he adds, “the result was produced in the form of the contracts received, the real objective of the employer, after the negotiation.”

The paper strap, also in prison for the Gürtel case, would have been to act, according to Bárcenas “and others”, as an intermediary between large companies and the Administration to achieve favorable treatment for the companies “obtaining in exchange a commission that he distributed among the participants and the political formation itself “.

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