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Barcenas case: Judge loses missing laptop files

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Barcenas case: Judge loses missing laptop files
When police confiscated Barcenas's belongings at the PP headquarters, they found the laptop had been wiped clean. Photo: Pierre Philippe Marcou/AFP
11:06 CET+01:00
A judge investigating the disappearance of vital computer files in a corruption scandal involving Spain's ruling party claims he has also lost the lawsuit documents he'd compiled on the matter.

The investigation was centred on the erased contents of a laptop used by Luis Barcenas, the Popular Party’s disgraced ex-treasurer, currently out on a €200,000 bail after 19 months behind bars on separate corruption charges.

When police confiscated his belongings at the PP headquarters, they found the laptop had been wiped clean.

Back in 2013, Spain’s opposition parties took the matter to Madrid’s High Court, claiming that the PP was deliberately trying to cover up illegal financing party members had received, all of which had allegedly been recorded on the laptop in question.

Now it turns out that the judge investigating the allegations has “misplaced” all the information he had gathered for the lawsuit.

"The (documents) have disappeared for reasons that are being investigated,” Madrid’s High Court said in a statement.

Another judge is now set to reconstruct the summary to continue with the appeal.

The news has already been met by distrust on the part of the Spanish public, who are questioning the legitimacy of the country’s judicial system as well as the influence of the ruling party over them.

As for Barcenas, he has already confessed to running a slush fund for his party through which businesses purportedly gave money to party leaders, including Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

All of the PP members in question deny any wrongdoing and are yet to be investigated.

READ ALSO: 'Spanish PM knew of slush fund from the start'

But the vast majority of Spaniards are convinced corruption is deeply seated at the helm of the ruling party, a key factor in the rise of new political parties such as Podemos and Ciudadanos, who are harnessing the population’s anger to their benefit ahead of November’s presidential elections. 

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