Inma Lidón Valencia


Updated Monday, February 5, 2024-14:49

"People brought envelopes to the reception of the municipal group and said: for the game." This is how the former secretary of the municipal group of the

PP of Valencia

and Rita Barberá's right-hand woman,

Mª Carmen García Fuster

, explained how the party fattened the B fund with which electoral expenses were paid. She did so before the


Court , which is judging her along with the former vice mayor Alfonso Grau and two managers of municipal foundations for an alleged crime of bribery in the 2011 elections, having received "money of unknown origin but nevertheless linked to charges from companies for work not proven or carried out at an extra cost" in the 2011 electoral campaign.

García Fuster responded to the Prosecutor's questions about how money was handled in the PP of Valencia. The former secretary reiterated that there were two current accounts, one in which subsidies for the expenses of the municipal group were received, controlled by the Intervention, and a second from where the elected officials and advisors were sent "the revolutionary tax", which It started with 1,000 pesetas when she entered the party in 1983 and ended up being 60 euros. From that account, according to García Fuster, monthly transfers were made "to the provincial PP account for the party's expenses. We kept some for the elections, but the main amount was for the provincial PP," she pointed out.

She herself, as secretary of the municipal group, her secretary and the spokesperson were authorized in that account at all times. The last one was Alfonso Grau. In addition, donations that individuals made to the party were deposited in that account in envelopes delivered to the municipal group's headquarters, a practice that García Fuster considered normal. They were given - "not to me personally", she wanted to point out - envelopes with amounts that, when asked by the judge, she could not specify nor why they were taken to City Hall and not to the party headquarters.

"I kept them in a metal box and entered them prudently, even though it was legal and legal

," she said. These incomes were from 6,000 to 29,000 euros.

The former secretary earned 119,000 euros from the summer of 2010 to March 2011. "They were all donations from 2010, when we were in the campaign." He especially remembered a

"star donation"

, as his lawyer called it, of 100,000 euros that a single person gave at the end of October 2010. "It was very substantial and helped us close the account with Trasgos for the 2011 campaign," he said. . That person was "an elderly lady, from Alianza Popular, who had many social relationships and had always collaborated on a personal and financial level with the party. Of those 100,000 euros, a part was surely from her private assets," García Fuster revealed. He explained the

modus operandi

. "She didn't give it to me in person. They tell me that a lady left a bag, or a folder, I don't remember, and they described it to me and I deduced who it could be." It was at the questions of her lawyer, Rita Barberá's brother-in-law

José María Corbín

, when she named him after her:

Conchita García Lliberós

, a veteran militant now deceased. "A fantastic person on all levels. She gave it to the party, because she was her party, the center of her entire life," she insisted.

The former secretary did not rule out that the donor was a fundraiser for the party: "Well, it could be... Yes, because even during the time of the Popular Alliance she already did it. I can

presume that this lady held meetings and had many friends

, but I don't know."

With this confession, García Fuster dispels the suspicions that, during the investigation of the case, his own statements made fall on the former vice mayor Alfonso Grau, and that have him sitting in the dock for, allegedly, having requested payments from the contracting companies with which that Barberá's 2007 and 2011 campaigns were financed. His figure fit that of the collector that the secretary said existed. Now, during the trial, he reverses himself.


There was no collector, I invented one

. I thought about inventing that figure to concentrate all the suspicions and close a circle on that person. The opposite was to make life difficult, unfairly, for many people. All those anonymous people, donors, "If I started giving names, they would be investigated... And I understood that it was very unfair."

With these donations, the PP paid for the 2011 campaign, part to the organizing company, Trasgos, and part directly to the media. Also some


in cash, "because they told me that the company had closed and could not make an invoice." The PP was aware of the existence of these donations: "how could they not know if they asked me for transfers for expenses?" 7

García Fuster insisted that he knew nothing about the 2007 campaign, which he carried out with the company Laterne, and in 2011 he limited himself to paying the expenses requested by the campaign committee, whose coordinator was Alfonso Grau. "I don't remember if he directed the Grau campaign. It could be because he was a spokesperson, but it was not important who was the campaign coordinator. The decisions were made between the councilors, who each ran their area," he stated, but not before clarifying that the money that was found in cash in her house, around 5,000 euros, was part of her gift from her aunt and her and her sister for Christmas and another from the collection of the lottery ticket that had been won by the number that the PP was playing .


In this session of the trial, Alfonso Grau also testified that he neither knew the campaign budget nor hired or paid for events even though he was the coordinator in 2007 and 2011. "My function was not that. I wrote the electoral program, collected information from colleagues to see what projects they had and coordinated with the rest of the colleagues," he said.

His relationship with the companies that organized the campaign was limited, as he described, "to going there and telling the people who had run the 2003 campaign what had been decided in the electoral committee. I imagine that the group or the party would pay for it." "I don't know. I don't order anything," he insisted, as well as that he had knowledge of the campaign budget or friendship with the owner of Laterne.

He also denied that he had held, through this businessman, meetings with others in a kind of "lobby" to promote Valencia and that he was aware that payments had been demanded from those companies.

Grau assures that he never gave his former advisor Jesús Gordillo any money to make payments to the Laterne company or that he sent him to collect checks. What's more, he claimed that he was "the last person I would think would have any interest in harming me" after he and his family helped him progress.

Gordillo was the one who brought a journalist all the information regarding the irregular financing that ended up in the Prosecutor's Office, although in his testimony during the trial he recanted and assured that a man, under threats, gave it to him on a street in Valencia.