Spain's ruling party plans audit of its finances

Posted at 8:15 AM, Jan 21, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-21 08:15:00-05

MADRID (AP)-- Spain's governing Popular Party says it will commission an external audit of its finances to clear its name.

The party made the announcement Monday, several days after Spain's National Court said that an investigation it began in 2009 about allegations of irregular party financing found that former party Treasurer Luis Barcenas had amassed an unexplained €22 million ($29 million) in a Swiss bank account.

Party spokeswoman Maria Dolores de Cospedal said the party has never had bank accounts outside Spain.

Barcenas, who served for one year as the party's treasurer and 19 as its assistant treasurer, resigned in 2009.

Spanish newspapers have alleged that he regularly distributed under-the-table bonuses to party leaders.

But there have been no arrests or charges filed regarding the Popular Party's finances.