April 27, 2015 / 3:33 PM / in 3 years

Spanish prosecutor recommends five years in jail for former PP treasurer

MADRID (Reuters) - Two former treasurers of Spain’s ruling People’s Party (PP) should face five years in jail if found guilty of charges related to running a slush fund at the party, the country’s public prosecutor said on Monday.

The case against Luis Barcenas and Alvaro de Lapuerta, who ran the party’s accounts from 1990 until 2009, is an embarrassment to Spain’s Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy.

“They managed funds together in cash paid to the political party by donors from whom they couldn’t receive funds under the legislation on party financing in place at the time”, the public prosecutor said on Monday.

The prosecutor recommended five years in prison and a series of fines for Barcenas and de Lapuerta if they are found guilty of the charges of embezzlement, forgery and an offense against the tax office.

The trial of the two former treasurers, along with four other suspects, is unlikely to be scheduled for this year, a judicial source told Reuters last month.

A series of corruption scandals involving the PP have angered voters. Polls show the PP and the Socialists are likely to shed support to new political parties like left-wing Podemos and market-friendly Ciudadanos, which have made cleaning up politics the center of their campaigns for local elections in May and September and a general election by the end of the year.

Reporting by Sarah Morris; editing by Andrew Roche

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