May 16, 2021

Bankia says that it does not know what is accused and tries to expel from the trial the investors who already charged | Economy

Bankia says that it does not know what is accused and tries to expel from the trial the investors who already charged | Economy



Uncertainty. Confusion. Indetermination Inconcretion They were the most repeated words on Tuesday during the second day of the trial for the Bankia IPO. The morning was devoted entirely to the previous questions of the lawyers who defend the 34 defendants – directors and administrators of the entities and Bankia, BFA and the auditor Deloitte as legal entities -. Almost all, in one way or another, enunciated some variation of the question: Who accuses us and of what?

The defense lawyers question the legitimacy of the 15 private accusations that are involved in the case and assure that none has made clear what they accuse their clients. That is why everyone asked the president of the court, Judge Ángela Murillo, to declare the nullity of the indictments and the order to open the oral trial. The court will have to decide on these issues before the trial phase of the trial begins.

The most forceful defense was that of Bankia, which assured that some private accusations have not provided the documentation that shows that they represent shareholders. He gave Adicae and the "1,415 injured parties he says he represents" as an example. He affirmed that, according to his verifications, in total only 205 individuals and four legal entities meet the requirements to be present at the trial because they have not yet been compensated. From the list provided by Adicae, he said, only 30 people are legitimized.

Bankia's lawyer, Joaquín Burkhalter, recalled that in 2016 the entity opened an extra-judicial channel to return the investment to those affected. They repurchased the shares with a 1% interest, for which they used 1,840 million euros. "The overwhelming majority chose him and renounced civil and criminal actions," he said. The lawyer denounced that "there are people who have died who remain in person" and said that one of the private accusations has acknowledged that "he is unable to locate his representatives". Bankia has calculated that compensating all those who are missing would cost barely two million euros, and that they are already deposited in the civil liability bond.

Threat with the sentencing on costs

Burkhalter took the opportunity to launch an "express warning": that he will ask for the costs of those who are not properly represented in the case. A warning that almost all defense attorneys included in their interventions. Some recalled that, of the 15 individuals indicted accusations, only have been presented in trial five, and that the costs to be distributed among less can be very onerous.

The presence of the particular accusations in this trial is very relevant, since the Prosecutor's Office only accuses four of the 34 defendants (Rodrigo Rato, the former CEO of Bankia Francisco Verdú and the directors José Manuel Fernández Norniella and José Luis Olivas) of a crime of fraud against investors. The defense lawyers invoke the so-called Botín doctrine, according to which one can not judge someone when the Prosecutor's Office has not made an accusation and there are no direct harmed ones (those that represent the particular accusations).

That was the starting situation in the first session of the trial, but the new prosecutor in charge of the case, Carmen Launa, announced by surprise that he is considering broadening his accusation to a second crime, that of accounting falsification, that could be extended to all the defendants.

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