Two Conservative Ex-Leaders In Madrid Charged In Graft Case

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Two former leaders of Madrid’s regional government were charged on Monday with embezzlement and illegal use of funds to pay bills for their conservative People’s Party, a court document showed.

Esperanza Aguirre and Cristina Cifuentes, who held the post in 2003-2012 and 2015-2018 respectively, were accused of corruption for their role in a case uncovered in 2015, a spokesman for the national criminal court Audiencia Nacional said.

Aguirre, Cifuentes and their lawyers could not be reached for comment. A PP spokesman said the party respected judicial decisions and the presumption of innocence and declined to provide further comment.

The charges relate to a scheme under which officials are accused of awarding public contracts in exchange for illegal kickbacks, according to anti-corruption public prosecutors.

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