Top officials in one of Spain’s biggest corruption trials
US embassies in Jamaica and Haiti closed due to the storm. At the US naval base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba – located along Matthew’s predicted path – officials issued a mandatory evacuation order for all non-essential personnel and family members. The 61 remaining inmates in the prison are safe, US military officials said.
Forecasters predict the hurricane could hit the US East Coast around midweek. Florida and parts of North Carolina have declared states of emergency. – SPAIN’S ruling Popular Party will come under intense scrutiny as some of its former lawmakers and high-ranking officials stand trial in one of the country’s biggest corruption scandals.
Kickbacks, fake invoices and Swiss bank accounts: The juicy details of the so-called Gurtel affair – which allegedly saw PP politicians across the country receive bribes – are well known by Spaniards who have become all too used to corruption in politics.
But this time, Spanish media have billed it as the “trial of the year” as three former party treasurers are among the 37 defendants – including Luis Barcenas, who stashed tens of millions away in Switzerland.
What makes the case all the more intriguing is that the PP itself has been called to the stand for allegedly benefitting from funds obtained illegally by lawmakers.
But unlike the defendants, the party as a whole faces no criminal charges and may merely be asked to pay the money back.
The case has been given the codename Gurtel, the German translation of “belt”, or correa in Spanish – the surname of the man who allegedly led the sprawling corruption network.
Francisco Correa, a businessman who liked to be called “Don Vito” in reference to the mob boss played by Marlon Brando in The Godfather, is accused of having showered PP lawmakers with bribes between 1999 and 2005. –
Clouds cover the mountains of Petion Ville as rain falls on the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince on October 3.