Rita Barbera
Rita Barbera

RIGHT wing politicians have tried to finger journalists over the death of controversial politician Rita Barbera.

Some former Partido Popular co-workers of the Valencia mayor claimed that media pressure mounted on Barbera  over her involvement in a corruption scandal led to her having a heart attack in a Madrid hotel.

They said she had been made subject of a “witch hunt” following her death on Wednesday while trying to deflect criticism about the party’s decision to suspend her before she gave evidence to the supreme court this week.

She had been ordered to testify regarding a huge money laundering operation run out of the city hall while she was in power.

Speaking to RNE 1 radio station, Rafael Hernando, PP congress spokesperson, alleged that some TV channels had “lined their pockets” by “practicing a journalism of harassment and protest” against Barbera.

He turned on channels such as “laSexta and others” that made Barberá into a “target which they repeatedly shot at…to drive their audience.”

Media outside the Madrid hotel where Rita Barbera was staying
Media outside the Madrid hotel where Rita Barbera was staying

“We broke with her to avoid her being lynched…but the hyenas continued to bite”, he added.

Other PP members came together to close ranks on the subject, including José Manuel García-Margallo, ex-foreign minister, who said : “The authentic media witch hunt profoundly affected” Barbera.”

Valencia councillor Félix Crespo said Barbera had not been able to withstand the harassment, insults  vejaciones, el insulto, el contempt” from critical voices in both the media and politics.

But Antonio Garcia Ferreras, director of  the laSexta channel, rubbished the claims, arguing that the media has a right to hold those in positions of power to account.

In a rebuff, he said that Hernando “does not understand the right to information, he prefers doormats.”


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