2 senior conservative politicians in Spain to face judge

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MADRID (AP) — A Spanish judge has summoned two former senior members of the conservative Popular Party to answer questions about suspected corruption.

Esperanza Aguirre and Cristina Cifuentes, both former Madrid regional presidents for the party, are due in court next month as part of a judicial investigation into suspected illegal political financing.

The judge will decide after questioning the pair whether they should go to trial.

Spanish private news agency Europa Press reports Monday that Aguirre and Cifuentes are suspected of being present at key meetings where allegedly illegal payments from private companies was discussed.

The judge’s decision is another blow for the Popular Party, which lost power last year in a parliamentary no-confidence vote after being engulfed in a damaging political corruption scandal, as Spain prepares for a possible election.

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