TheAnti-Corruption Prosecutormaintains in a November 2019 report thatFrancisco Gonzalezwas the person who, by virtue of his position as executive president of theBBVA, ordered the hiring of the services of the retired commissioner and in prisonJosé Manuel Villarejo, all this “knowing its illegality and regardless of the entity’s policies on contracting suppliers”.
This is stated in a document, to which Europa Press had access, dated November 11, 2019 in which the prosecutors of the ‘Villarejo case’, Ignacio Stampa and Miguel Serrano,detail the contractual relationship between BBVA and CENYT, the company that ran Villarejo until his arrest in November 2017.
Prosecutors requested in this report the summons of González when considering that the one who was president of BBVA commissioned the general directors of the Legal and Risk Services to hire Villarejo,using Julio Corrochano as a mediator, director of security of BBVA and, previously, also prominent command of the Police.
The investigators make this statement based on the set of judicial proceedings carried out, “especially the documentary incorporated, the preliminary ‘forensic’ reports and the judicial statements provided bythe researched Antonio Béjar González “, director of BBVA.
They refer specifically to the use by Villarejo of“illicit means for obtaining and accessing reserved information of individualsin violation of its fundamental rights “, arguing that the decision was adopted by the” executive body “of BBVA” since such contracting would have been ordered, and opaquely, by the Bank’s own Presidency “.
“The preponderant participation of Julio Corrochano Peña would be determined by having directly received from the then President of BBVA Francisco González Rodríguez the task of managing contracts with CENYT for his personal ties with José Manuel Villarejo Pérez,” adds the Anticorruption report, whichpoints to the relationship with other police, “especially the Head of the Central Operational Support Unit of the General Information Commission, Enrique García Castaño”, known as ‘El Gordo’.
Prosecutors allude to the judicial statements of the accused to underline Gonzalez’s involvement in the contractual relationship with Villarejo, among other issues because BBVA is a “highly hierarchical entity in which only such contracts could be made during all those yearsunder the superior direction and supervision of President Francisco González“.
According to this report, the first contract with CENYT was signed on December 2, 2004 and it was Julio Corrochano himself who signed the resolution document of the contractual relationship on November 14, 2017. Villarejo and his partner Rafael Redondo were arrested days before, on November 3, 2017.
Exculpatory statement before the judge
In his statement before the judge of the National Court Manuel García Castellón, held on November 18 of last year and to whose recording Europa Press has had access,Gonzalez acknowledged that he authorized the hiring of a detective agency, at the proposal of Corrochano, to investigate who were responsible forSacyrwhat they wanted to do with the entity and how much they represented in shares.
Nevertheless,the former president of BBVA said he was unaware that it was the Cenyt company, from the ex-commissioner Villarejo, as he did not know if the company understood that it should take aggressive and destabilizing actions. “How will I know that?, if I didn’t know what detective company it was. He said (Corrochano) that it was a detective agency and never again talked about that agency or what it was doing, “said González.
Asked if he was aware that the bank hired a detective agency for the collection of delinquents in the promoter field, Gonzalez has acknowledged that an agency was first hired, but not functioning as expected, another was hired, if good at all timesHe has said he doesn’t know which firm it was.
In addition, he denied that he was informed of the names of the bank’s debtor promoters (Luis Portillo, Fernando Martín, etc.) who were going to be monitored for debt recovery, and explained that he was only informed of the assets that were detected, like ones thatthey were located in Dubai, which was brought to the attention of the court. According to González,who informed him of these details was Eduardo Arbizu, former head of Regulation and Internal Control of BBVA, not the head of Security, Julio Corrochano.
Also asked if the head of Risks in Spain, Antonio Béjar, informed him of these matters at some point, González replied that he dispatched with him about four times a year, along with another hundred executives of the entity, but did not remember to inform him of something about this particular. “I begin to know about hiring Cenyt in May 2018.I still don’t believe even half of what has come out in the investigation“, he said in his statement.
Luis Pineda’s “brutal” action against BBVA
The former president of BBVA also denied having hired any other entity to counter the attacks of Ausbanc and its presidentLuis Pineda. Pineda claimed publicity to the entities andBBVA paid 200,000 euros until 2007, compared to the million euros that claims that other entities paid.
In 2007 he considered thatI was subjecting him to a “blackmail”, for what he stopped paying, to which Pineda responded with a “brutal” action against the bank. In 2014, the idea of filing a complaint was born, but no one suggested hiring an external company to manage the complaint or to investigate Pineda or Ausbanc.
Gonzalez also reported in his court statement that Arbizu hired Garrigues, who found out that Cenyt had been hired andhe had been paid “ten or eleven million euros”,BBVA representing “80% of the billing of that company”, at which time an internal investigation was commissioned to audit the bank. The board of directors was not informed about it, because, although González was “in favor of informing”, Arbizu asked to “wait a little” to have truthful information.
Likewise, Francisco González was also questioned about personal services, such as the wall of his house in Guadalmina, which required a permit from the Ministry of Interior. “What need does the bank have to ask Redondo or who is a management to process a permit?” Gonzalez asked.
Regarding other matters investigated in this procedure, González stated thatthe corporate planeacquired by the bank around 2005, he decided not to use it “for any type of private use”.
Finally, on his departure from the executive presidency he said he had “nothing to do” with the matter, but theexit of the presidency of honor blames him for “a huge media campaign”which is done against the bank and against him for “very powerful” interests. Therefore, he defends that he decided to temporarily step back to “take pressure off”. “It was the most correct step,” he added.