Mercadona boss, Juan José Roig, was called before Judge Pablo Ruz on Monday as part of ongoing investigations into the “Caso Bárcenas”, what is now becoming another of the long drawn-out corruption investigations implicating senior members of the ruling PP party.
Luis Bárcenas is currently held in preventative prison custody while investigations continue into the alleged “Barcenas B-books” a set of books compiled during his term as treasurer of the PP political party which show payments allegedly received from a number of important businesses to the party over a period of more than 20 years, some of it undeclared as either donations or income in “official” party records.
Juan José Roig, the Valencian entrepreneur who founded the Mercadona supermarket chain, is reported to have admitted to Judge Pablo Ruz on Monday that he made two donations of 50,000 euros to the FAES (the foundation for social studies and analysis) in 2005 and 2012, but denies being a part of any alleged unlawful accounting practices which may have been carried out by the PP.
The donations recognized are of interest to Judge Ruz in his role investigating the alleged illegal financing of the ruling PP political party, as the president of FAES is José María Aznar, also the former president of the PP and the national government. Sr Roig has also confessed to donating money to Mujeres por África, the foundation presided over by former national vice-president María Teresa Fernández de la Vega.
In the course of his declarations Sr Roig also confirmed that he has visited the PP party headquarters in Calle Génova in Madrid on four occasions, and that he is acquainted with the current president Mariano Rajoy, whom he has met five or six times. However he says that the two men have only spoken about the country’s economy, and that he has never been introduced to either of the party’s former treasurers, Luis Bárcenas and Álvaro de Lapuerta.
Sr Roig, giving evidence as part of the Judge’s investigations, denied having contributed 150,000 to the PP as he is accused of doing in the infamous “Bárcenas Papers”. On 27th February 2008 former treasurer Luis Bárcenas noted revenue of that amount in his alleged false accounting documents, accompanied by the word “Mercadona”, and in a similar entry dated 15th March 2004 a donation of 90,000 euros is also related to the retail chain.
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