SPAIN’S Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy denies having any knowledge of irregular funding going into the Partido Popular as he gave evidence at the Gürtel corruption case.
“I’ve never dealt with economic issues within the party,” he said.
Rajoy also denies that any members of his party received an extra wage from a secret bank account.
“That is absolutely false. We all earn a members wage and many also had bonuses given to them by the party, which were all declared,” he said.
The Prime Minister sat on a raised platform next to judges rather than in front of them due to him being an important elected official. Commentators have suggested that due to this special treatment, Rajoy did not seem to grasp the seriousness of the case as some of his responses to questions could be seen as disrespectful.
In one instance, when questioned on sums of money allegedly given to the PP by Francisco Correa, the Prime Minister responded “are you sure you have the right witness?” to which a lawyer responded “I think he’s mistaken what his role is in this case,” prompting one of the judges to warn both men on their conduct.
This however did not seem to work, as Rajoy seemed to mock other questions posed, in one answer he said “let me explain it in a way I’m sure you can understand.”
When questioned about text messages he sent to former PP treasurer Luis Barcenas, the Prime Minister simply said “I tend to respond to people who send me messages.
“I could have used any response, they meant nothing.”
The leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias, has criticised Mariano Rajoy and said “Spain doesn’t deserve this disgrace. We have to get him out of the Government.”
PSOE’s Pedro Sanchez also heavily criticised the Prime Minister calling for him to resign and called it “a black day in the history of our democracy.”