Blackmail accusation prompts politician to resign
A Spanish politician resigned from his parliamentary seat yesterday after being accused of involvement in the blackmailing of a banker.
Santiago Cervera, of the conservative Partido Popular (PP) also said he was resigning from his post in the party, due to the investigation into his role in an apparent scheme to extort €25,000 from the president of Caja Navarra bank, José Antonio Asiáin.
Mr Asiáin contacted the authorities last week after he received an anonymous message telling him to leave the money at a rendezvous point to avoid sensitive information relating to his law firm being released.
The Civil Guard laid a trap for the alleged blackmailer, and when Mr Cervera arrived at the meeting point in the northern city of Pamplona, at the arranged time on Saturday, he was detained.
The politician, later released with charges, says he is the victim of a set-up. “I am innocent of whatever I am accused of – I haven’t committed any crime, any blackmail, any threat,” Mr Cervera told reporters yesterday.
“I have become a victim of whatever I can be charged with and I think I know the reasons for which I have been chosen as a victim.”
Mr Cervera has given an account on his blog, in which he says he received an anonymous email offering him information about Caja Navarra and he went to the meeting point, where he saw a package “apparently containing documents”.