Barcelona court rules Catalonia separatist party funded itself illegally

The separatist party of Catalonia’s former Presidents Carles Puigdemont and Artur Mas received illegal commissions in exchange for public work contracts, a Barcelona court ruled Monday after a lengthy trial. The conservative CDC party, which in 2016 changed its name to the Catalan European Democratic Party (PDeCAT), received at least €6.6 million ($8.1 million) from Spanish infrastructure group Ferrovial “in exchange for guaranteeing the allocation of a certain amount of public works,” AFP reported, citing the ruling. Ferrovial would pay the commissions as donations to the Palau de la Musica, a famous cultural institution in Barcelona, whose two directors would take a cut and send the rest on to CDC, it added. PDeCAT last week found itself without a president after Mas – Catalan leader from 2010 to 2016 – stepped down in what critics say was linked to Monday’s sentence.