Barcenas: Stop my trial, I need a holiday

Barcenas: Stop my trial, I need a holiday
Former Popular Party treasurer Luis Bárcenas, who has asked permission to go on holiday for two weeks. Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP.
The disgraced former treasurer of Spain’s ruling Popular Party, recently released on a €200,000 bail, has asked the judge overseeing his corruption case if he can take a 14-day holiday.

Luis Bárcenas, who is currently under investigation on corruption charges, had been in prison since June 2013, when he was remanded in custody after an investigating judge ruled he proved a flight risk and could destroy evidence in the Gürtel corruption case.

He was released from prison at the end of January 2015 after his family raised the €200,000 ($230,000) bail money.

Now, Bárcenas has asked judge, Pablo Ruz, if he can go on holiday for a fortnight, neglecting to specify where he is planning to go, only that it is ‘somewhere in Spain’ reports Spanish daily, El País.

The judge has told the former PP treasurer he must specify where he is going on holiday before permission can be granted.

Bárcenas, who currently has to report to Spain’s high court every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as part of his bail terms, has asked to take a holiday between February 20th and March 6th, signing in three days a week at the nearest court.

If Judge Ruz grants permission for Bárcenas to take a holiday it will be his first in the 20 months since he was originally imprisoned.

Under his bail terms, Bárcenas was stripped of his passport as well as having to report regularly to authorities.

Public prosecutors are currently seeking a 42 and a half year prison sentence for Bárcenas in relation to the Gürtel Case for crimes including tax fraud and money laundering.

In a separate case, he is also being investigated over claims he administered an illegal party slush fund for the Popular Party, making under-the-table payments to top party officials including Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy. Rajoy has repeatedly denied those claims.  

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