• 300 pages of allegations, receipts reportedly show malversion of funds •
In a case brought to light by Valencia’s regional Compromís coalition, the former longtime Popular Party (PP) mayor of Valencia, Rita Barberá, appears on the verge of being charged by public prosecutors for personal use of hundreds of thousands of euros of public funds during her 24-year mayoral tenure, brought to an end by the Compromís-led majority coalition governing Valencia since May 2015 municipal elections.
Prosecution of the case filed by Compromís, known as Rita Leaks, means the former Valencia mayor could be tried by Spain’s Supreme Court, currently the only tribunal in the country capable of hearing a case against Barberá, given her immunity from prosecution by lower courts as a Senator elected on the PP ticket from Valencia in Dec. 20th general elections.
Barberá’s immunity (or fuero) undermines acting Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy’s claim the party is getting tough on corruption and so far protects her from being charged in the high-profile Operación Taula money-laundering case being prosecuted by a lower court. That case saw 24 arrests in Valencia last month of local PP councillors, party staff and advisers, including Barberá’s vice-Mayor, Alfonso Grau, and the former mayor’s sister, Asunción “Tonton” Barberá.
► Background Story on Operación Taula in English at Spanish News Today …
► VIDEO: Rajoy & other PP leaders praising Rita Barberá over the years
[in Spanish] La Sexta – El Intermedio 08-feb-2016