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Spain's new conservative leader in degree scandal

AFP  |  Madrid 

Spain's conservative Popular Party (PP), freshly ousted from power over a series of cases, has been hit by another scandal as new leader stands accused of getting a Masters degree as a "gift".

The 37-year-old promised "regeneration" when he replaced on July 21 as following the latter's ouster as in a no-confidence vote called over the scandals affecting his party.

But a at a court believes he may be guilty of "bribery and misfeasance" for getting his diploma in regional law from the Spanish capital's in 2009 without going to lectures or passing exams.

In a court document seen by AFP today, says she found possible evidence of wrongdoing as she investigated the university and other students over degree irregularities.

She has asked the to probe Casado, the only tribunal able to do so given his special status as a lawmaker.

has already admitted to not attending lectures to get his Masters, and according to the court document, said he got his diploma based on "work" he submitted.

But Rodriguez-Medel, who was unable to question Casado, said her investigations had found no trace at the university of any work.

She believes he received the Masters as a "gift", one of several to have allegedly benefited from this special favour.

The is where Casado's fellow party colleague obtained the same diploma in dubious circumstances in what became known as the "mastergate" scandal.

Under fire for weeks, Cifuentes eventually resigned as president of the region in April when footage emerged of her allegedly shoplifting 40 euros (USD 46) worth of cosmetics.

yesterday ruled out resigning and the PP leapt to his defence. "Innocent people must never resign," the PP's told reporters today.

He said Casado had "many of the documents that he later submitted", adding that under its regulations, the university destroys student paperwork after seven years.

Garcia also said he was "surprised" that members of the ruling who had "faked" their CV were not being probed.

He pointed to Jose Manuel Franco, of the in Madrid, who in April admitted an "irregularity" in his CV, having written he had a degree in maths when he never did.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, August 07 2018. 18:45 IST