Court hears claims of slush fund in Spanish party

MADRID (AP) - The jailed former financial chief of the ruling Popular Party says he personally handed thousands of euros to the party's current secretary general as part of an off-the-books payment scheme he acknowledges he ran.

Speaking by video from prison Friday, Luis Barcenas told a Toledo court that he handed two envelopes containing 7,500 euros ($10,000) each in cash to Maria Cospedal in 2008.

Cospedal denied before the court that she received the payments. She is suing Barcenas for defamation.

Barcenas says the slush fund payments were a party tradition but Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has denied this vehemently.

Barcenas was jailed in June after he was found to have held millions of euros in secret Swiss bank accounts.


(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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