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The Second Section of the Criminal Chamber of Spain's National Audience court, which has held the trial on the first period of the Gürtel corruption affair has today released its verdict on the case. The judges do not believe the testimony given by Mariano Rajoy to be "plausible" and question its "credibility". The Spanish prime minister denied secret payments were made by his PP party's former treasurer Luis Bárcenas.

In their sentence, the court highlights that some witnesses admitted the payments, but others, like Rajoy, Javier Arenas and Francisco Álvarez Cascos, questioned the credibility of the so-called Bárcenas papers and denied the existence of a caja B secret second PP account. The Bárcenas papers are handwritten notes allegedly recording secret payments to PP officials.

However, the judges agree with prosecutors that testifying otherwise "would mean recognising payments hidden from the treasury". This, they add, would not be a crime, but could "be considered by the witnesses as deserving of social reproach" and would mean "admitting the existence of a caja B at the heart of the party to which they belong or have belonged".

As such, the Chamber "questions the credibility" of Rajoy and the other witnesses who testified over the so-called Bárcenas papers, since their testimony "doesn't appear sufficiently plausible to counter the conclusive evidence existing over the party's caja B". "In the words of the prosecutors, these witnesses are not sufficiently credible to refute the said conclusive evidence," the judges write.

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