Spain's EU minister subject of judicial probe

14th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

Spain's secretary of state for Europe is to be questioned by a judge over allegations he misappropriated public funds, just weeks before Madrid takes over the EU presidency, judicial sources said Friday.

Madrid - Spain's secretary of state for Europe is to be questioned by a judge over allegations he misappropriated public funds, just weeks before Madrid takes over the EU presidency, judicial sources said Friday.

The judge ruled admissible a complaint by a conservative law centre that Diego Lopez Garrido granted tens of thousands of euros of government aid to the Alternatives Foundation, a think-tank close to the ruling Socialist Party and which he used to head.

He said the facts "presume the existence of a criminal offence" and ordered Lopez Garrido to appear for questioning on 4 December.

As Spain's senior government official in charge of EU affairs, Lopez Garrido will have a key role to play when Madrid takes over the six-month presidency of the European Union on 1 January.

The complaint was filed by the Thomas More Law Centre, which describes itself as an organisation "defending the values of family, life and freedom of parents to choose the education they want for their children."

"We hope this will all be clarified quickly," Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa Fernandez de la Vega told a news conference when asked about the case.

AFP/Expatica

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