JUNTA de Andalucia boss Jose Antonio Grinan has been accused of overseeing the ERE slush fund scandal.
The fraud – the biggest public money scam in Spanish history – saw a regional development fund used to pay bogus early retirement payments to up to 100 individuals, often for companies they had never even worked for.
A further four people have been arrested in the scandal which the PP party believes could total up to one billion euros illegally syphoned off by Junta officials.
Grinan has now been forced to stand up for his ‘honour and dignity’ after PP boss Juan Zoido accused him of being the “cashier of ERE” during his time as Finance Minister.
He added that he must have known about the money that was syphoned off during his time as Finance Minister between 2004 and 2009.
Fellow Employment Minister Francisco Guerrero – who masterminded the scheme that has so far seen 136m euros of public money embezzled – has now been jailed again without bail.
It comes as Sevilla Judge Mercedes Alaya jailed a further four people over the scandal. A total of 80 officials are now being considered as suspects.
In a mammoth 24-hour hearing she jailed the bosses of private consultancy firm Vitalia, a Eurobank subsidiary hired to manage the fund as well as an intemediary Juan Lanzas who is accused of syphoning off 1.8m for himself.
It emerged he had managed to buy up to 20 properties over the last few years due to the proceeds.