Reuters International

Spain's Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy speaks during a news conference at his ruling People's Party's (PP) headquarters in Madrid, Spain May 22, 2017. REUTERS/Sergio Perez

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MADRID (Reuters) - Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy has been called to testify at a trial of members of his conservative People's Party (PP) on July 26 at a court outside Madrid, the High Court said on Tuesday.

The trial follows a long-running investigation into an alleged party slush fund, centred around allegations that public contracts were awarded in exchange for kickbacks. Business people and former PP members are among the defendants.

Rajoy has not been accused of any wrongdoing in the case but has been called as a witness. The prime minister, who is in his second term in power at the helm of a minority government, had asked to testify via videoconference.

The court said Rajoy would have to appear in person.

(Reporting by Paul Day and Sonya Dowsett, Writing by Sarah White)

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