Police search homes of former Catalan president Pujol

Former Catalan President Jordi Pujol, whose homes and offices were raided by police Wednesday. File Photo: El País
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• One day after Pujol’s son jailed, prosecutors focus on former Catalan president
• Pujol clan investigated for money-laundering, tax fraud via offshore accounts

One day after Spain’s High Court sent the eldest son of former Catalan President Jordi Pujol to jail to prevent his obstruction of a money-laundering and tax-fraud scheme involving his family, police raided the home and offices of the former regional president himself on a warrant issued by a judge who believes the family fortune being managed in offshore accounts by the son is directly linked to the elder Pujol.

The 87-year-old former Catalan president governed Spain’s northeast region from 1980-2003 and is considered to be the father of modern Catalan nationalism. Political deals made over the years with both the current governing conservative Partido Popular (PP) and Spain’s Socialist party (PSOE) that kept him in power are believed to have masked widespread corruption and kickbacks involving Pujol and his family in the interest of smoothing Spain’s 1980s transition to democracy in the aftermath of the 1975 death of dictator Francisco Franco.

Police on Wednesday raided five homes and offices belonging to Pujol in Barcelona and the town of Queralbs in the Catalan Pyrenees, reportedly searching for documentation and other information related to the transfer of funds by family members into offshore accounts in Andorra and Panama.

► Read More in Spanish at La Vanguardia, El Periódico and El País …

► Read More in english at Reuters and LatAm Herald Tribune …

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