THE alleged Gurtel ringleaders have refused to testify before the High Court, as the five year corruption investigation looked to be drawing to a conclusion.
Francisco Correa, a corrupt businessman accused of handing Popular Party officials monthly payments in return for bumper contracts, refused to give evidence on Thursday.
Correa, who has spent three and a half years in preventative custody since his mother forked out for his €200,000 bail, cited a ‘loss of trust in the court’ as reason for his non-compliance.
The Gurtel investigation centres on the dealings of the former PP Government treasurer, Luis Barcenas.
For as long as Barcenas managed finances for his party, ministers would receive an envelope each month containing between €5,000 and €10,000.
On Thursday, Correa claimed the case should have been dismissed after the original investigating judge, Baltasar Garzón, was suspended for 11 years for ordering wiretaps of conversations between suspects and their lawyers in prison.
Alvaro Perez, known as El Bigotes and also implicated in the slush fund scandal, also invoked his right not to give evidence. He claimed he had not received official notification of his court date and only knew about it through the press.