March 9, 2021

Bankia court allows all accusations to be brought to trial | Economy

Bankia court allows all accusations to be brought to trial | Economy

The trial for Bankia's IPO has resumed today in the National Court after the Christmas break with the interrogation of Rodrigo Rato. Before he began his statement, the court has issued a writ in which he agrees to keep all the indicted accusations, including the popular ones, thus ruling out the issue of the application of the Boot doctrine requested by the defense attorneys.

The fourth section of the Criminal Chamber has rejected almost all the issues raised by the defenses, although it has withdrawn the offense of accounting falsification against Bankia, its parent company BFA, and the auditing firm Deloitte, considering that it can only be attributed to natural persons. . It keeps the scam from investors. In the car, the chamber chaired by Judge Ángela Murillo has also opposed the inclusion in the case of documents related to the bankruptcy of Banco de Valencia.

The court also orders that the 34 accused attend the sessions scheduled for the trial, which will last, in principle, until next July. Almost all the defense lawyers asked during the previous questions that their representatives were exempted from attending the sessions, in some cases for residing outside Madrid and in others for health reasons.

Rodrigo Rato has begun his statement at 10.45 in the morning answering questions from the prosecutor Carmen Launa. "I will answer the questions of the prosecutor, the FROB and my lawyer," said Rato at the beginning of his statement.

The court's decision on the accusations confirms what prosecutor Carmen Launa defended at the start of the trial. After the lawyer of the entity and others they will be accused of not having accredited what they represent and if he had not formulated his accusation correctly, Launa assured that the associations of small shareholders are legitimized and that the bankruptcy caused by the Bankia listing was "collective". The court order ensures that the Boot doctrine "has undergone a clear evolution" in the jurisprudence of the Supreme Court.

The controversy over the possible application of the Botín doctrine, which the defense attorneys invoked during the previous questions of the trial is thus settled, and it supposes that, when the Prosecutor's Office does not formulate accusations against someone and there are no direct prejudice, it can not be prosecuted. . In the opinion of the Anticorruption prosecutor, both the popular and private accusations must continue in the process because the damage caused by the Bankia's going public was "more than relevant" and the alleged accounting falsity affected the entire Spanish financial system and caused the biggest rescue in the history of Spain, which amounted to 23,465 million, lowered the price of the IBEX and triggered the risk premium.

The car issued today by the courtroom includes a report to the prosecutor of the case, who in his first speech during the oral trial he announced that he was probably going to change his accusation, to extend it to other crimes. The car describes this intervention as "proclamations" and adds that it is "somewhat surprising that forecast for the moment when it is announced, when a single test has not yet been carried out and without any new data".

The Prosecutor's Office accuses Rato and three other administrators (the former CEO of Bankia Francisco Verdú and the directors José Manuel Fernández Norniella and José Luis Olivas) to falsify the information with which the entity went public and that caused serious damage to investors. For Rato he asks for five years in prison and for the rest, between two years and seven months and four years. In the indictment, Luzón assures that they wanted to obtain "at all costs the necessary funds" to go public and that they concealed the true situation of the entity in a "conscious" manner. Bankia, formed by the integration of Caja Madrid, the Valencian Bancaja and five savings banks, ended up needing a rescue of 22,424 million public funds.

In the specific case of Rato, the prosecutor Alejandro Luzón, who was in charge of the investigation, believes that he allowed the IPO "knowing that the investors were receiving incomplete and inventar information" that "hid the critical situation" of the bank . For the prosecutor, Rato took advantage of the "prestige" of having been economic vice president of the Government of José María Aznar and managing director of the IMF, to convey a "fictitious message of solvency and good prospects".


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