16th July 2024
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Spanish government slams ‘trumped-up’ charge against PM’s brother

The Spanish government has lashed out over a new ‘trumped-up charge’ by a far-right linked group, this time targeting David Sánchez (left in main image), the brother of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, prompting a court to open a preliminary probe.

The complaint was again filed by Manos Limpias (‘Clean Hands’), which in April filed a complaint alleging graft against Sánchez’s wife Begoña Gómez that also triggered a preliminary investigation. ALSO READ: Spanish PM’s wife, Begoña Gómez, summoned to testify in corruption probe.

‘Once again, it’s Manos Limpias, that’s to say that once again we’re facing a trumped-up charge, based again on snippets from the digital tabloids,’ government spokeswoman Pilar Alegría told journalists when asked about matter.

David Sánchez works for a provincial council in Badajoz (Extremadura). According to Spanish media, a local court confirmed it had opened a probe into the socialist leader of the Badajoz province and two staff members, without giving names. The court said it will examine alleged offences including embezzlement, crimes against the public administration and the treasury, misuse of public funds and influence peddling.

According to the local press, the Manos Limpias complaint alleges that David Sánchez, who runs the performing arts department within Badajoz provincial council, receives a public salary without performing his function.

Media reports state that he receives a public salary of €55,000 as an orchestra director of the Badajoz Higher Conservatory of Music but does not attend physically and does not have permission to fulfil remotely. He is also alleged to live in Portugal to avoid paying tax in Spain. He has held the post since 2017, when his brother was opposition leader.

Two months ago, Manos Limpias filed a complaint against Sánchez’s wife for suspected influence peddling and corruption, prompting a Madrid court to open a probe on 16 April.

The group, which has admitted its complaint was based on media reports, has previously filed a litany of unsuccessful lawsuits against politicians.

Last week, just days before Spain voted in the EU elections, the court summoned Gómez to testify on 5 July, prompting Sánchez to denounce the probe as a ‘crude set-up promoted by far-right associations’.

When news of the complaint first emerged, Sánchez shocked Spain by saying he was considering resigning over what he denounced as a campaign of political harassment by the right. He took five days to reflect but ultimately decided to stay on. ALSO READ: Pedro Sánchez announces his decision to continue as Spanish prime minister.

ALSO READ: Begoña Gómez, wife of Spanish PM, investigated over alleged corruption.

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