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Spanish leader to testify in party-related corruption trial

Associated Press logo Associated Press 18/04/2017
FILE - In this March 8, 2016 file photo, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy speaks with the media as he leaves an EU summit in Brussels. Spain's National Court said on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 that Rajoy will be called as a witness in the trial of some 40 people involved in an alleged kickbacks-for-contracts scheme that helped finance his ruling Popular Party. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this March 8, 2016 file photo, Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy speaks with the media as he leaves an EU summit in Brussels. Spain's National Court said on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 that Rajoy will be called as a witness in the trial of some 40 people involved in an alleged kickbacks-for-contracts scheme that helped finance his ruling Popular Party. (AP Photo/Virginia Mayo, File)

MADRID — Spain's National Court says Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy will be called as a witness in the trial of some 40 people involved in an alleged kickbacks-for-contracts scheme that helped finance his ruling Popular Party.

The court said Tuesday that Rajoy would testify in his role as party secretary-general between 2003 and 2004, when the alleged illegal financing scheme was still operating.

It is not clear if Rajoy must testify in person or in written form. A date for his testimony has yet to be set.

On trial are former party treasurers and mid-ranking officials as well as business representatives.

Accused longtime party treasurer Luis Barcenas says there was always a scheme of illegal contributions to the party and that top officials were aware.

Rajoy and the party deny his claims.

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