CATALAN ex-president Jordi Pujol has been accused of money laundering and influence tracking in a complaint filed by Manos Limpias (Clean Hands) in a Barcelona court.
This Spanish anti-corruption organisation claims that Pujol embezzled public funds, accepted bribes and falsified official documents. It also lists his wife Marta Ferrusola as an accessory.
This comes just weeks after the ex-President confessed to laundering up to €18 million in Andorran and Swiss accounts to evade taxes.
Pujol, who founded the Catalan political party CDC, was stripped of all titles and privileges, including his pension, personal car and chauffeur and political perks as ex-President.
Pujol’s actions have weakened Catalunya’s independence movement, as its central argument – that Catalunya pays more in taxes to Spain than it receives in benefit – has lost integrity after the money laundering case.
“Saying that Catalonia is stripped of everything by the Spanish state is a fallacy that is beginning to be debunked,” said PP deputy leader Maria Dolores de Cospedal. “Obviously Mr Pujol’s confession helps in that sense.”
Catalunya’s current president Artur Mas was hand-picked by Pujol, though he has distanced himself from the disgraced leader.
The corruption complaint has been officially received by the court but the judge must decide whether to take the case, which can take years in Spanish courts.