THE FORMER president of the Community of Madrid Ignacio Gonzalez has been arrested as part of an operation against corruption related to the management of the Canal de Isabel II.
The arrest is part of an investigation by the Audiencia Nacional that has led to the arrest of 12 people linked to the previous Autonomous Administration (2012-2015) who allegedly diverted money from public funds for their own benefit, the court said in a note.
The investigations, which are under secrecy, focus on crimes of prevarication, criminal organization, embezzlement, bribery, money laundering, fraud, document forgery and corruption in business, the Audiencia added.
The proceedings began in 2016 as a result of the current regional administration, led by Cristina Cifuentes (also of the Popular Party) informing the Public Prosecutor’s Office of irregularities with the public water management company.
‘We have zero tolerance against corruption and we will always collaborate with any judicial issue,’ Cifuentes told reporters Wednesday.
Gonzalez, president of the Community of Madrid between 2012 and 2015, was provisionally suspended from militancy in the Popular Party, with which he currently had no public office.
‘The Popular Party reiterates its rejection of any type of corruption, wherever it comes from and will take the necessary measures to stop any act that violates the law,’ the conservative group said in a press release.
The police operation comes a day after it was announced that the President of the Government, Mariano Rajoy, must testify before the National Court in the trial against the Gurtel corruption plot that hit the Popular Party, contributing to the loss of millions of votes in the 2016 elections.
‘The PP explodes corruption on all sides, justice works,” Socialist parliamentary spokesman Antonio Hernando said on Twitter.
‘The PP is crumbling by corruption and the community is changing since the PP has no majority,’ said the Citizens’ spokesman at the Madrid Assembly Ignacio Aguado at a press conference.