July 26, 2021

The judge raises Jaime Botín’s conviction for smuggling a Picasso to three months in jail and a fine of 91.7 million

The Criminal Court number 27 of Madrid has raised the penalty imposed on former Bankinter president Jaime Botín, who becomes three years of pressure and a fine of 91.7 million euros for wanting to take the Picasso box ‘Head of young woman ‘, to sell it in the UK. This is reflected in an explanatory order, to which Europa Press has had access, initially issued and which included a sentence of 18 months in jail and a penalty of 52.4 million euros for the same events.

In this explanatory resolution, at the request of the Prosecutor’s Office and the State Advocacy, it states that an error was observed in the sentence in the sentence for a crime of smuggling cultural property against Jaime Botín.

Thus, it states that the crime for which Jaime Botín was convicted must be imposed in its upper half, so that in accordance with article 66.6 of the Criminal Code, he must face a prison sentence of three years and one day and the fine of 91,700,000 euros, with a four-month subsidiary liability.

The trial was held last November and the Prosecutor’s Office requested four years in prison and a fine of 100 million euros. The Advocacy also requested that also the schooner in which the painting was intervened when he was in French waters was to stop at the hands of the State.

The sentence proves that Botín bought the painting of 1906 in 1977 and had it at his home in Madrid and on a farm in Ciudad Real. At one point, he contacted the auction company Christie’s to sell the painting at an auction to be held in February 2013 in London.

The “Gósol” period

The company’s own staff let him know that given the age of the piece, he should have permission from the Ministry of Culture to export it and Botín authorized them to process the corresponding licenses stating that the painting was in Madrid and that would be the customs office of exit.

However, in December 2012, Patrimonio denied the export authorization, “frustrating its purpose of selling it in said auction house in London” due to the exceptional nature of the painting, as it belongs to the artist’s “Gósol” period and there is no such work in Spanish territory.

Botín was notified of the refusal, as he was also warned after the Ministry of Culture issued a Ministerial order declaring the inexportibility of the painting as a precautionary measure until the relevant declaration of it as a Property of Cultural Interest.

But the former president of Bankinter, says the sentence, ignored this order of Culture, “despite being fully aware” of it and moved the picture to his schooner docked in Valencia “in order to get him out of Spain, giving instructions to his captain to to hide it from the authorities. ” He, in the words of the judge, “ignored” the ban.

In fact, two and a half years later, in June 2015, the Civil Guard Fiscal Service conducted an inspection of the ship and asked the captain to make a declaration of the goods on board, but did not include the picture, as he Botín had indicated and is considered proven in the sentence.

Intercepted in Corsica

It was the French customs services that, knowing that the exbanker was processing a Corsica exit permit, where the schooner was docked, ordered an inspection of it and located the box packed in the commander’s cabin.

When they learned that Botín was forbidden to remove the painting from Spain, they proceeded to seize it, since in addition, the banker was processing plane tickets to travel with the painting to Switzerland.

A court in Pozuelo de Alarcón then agreed to insure the painting as a precautionary measure and issued a car requesting its transfer to Spain, which finally took place in August 2015. Picasso’s painting was deposited in the Reina Sofía National Center of Art Museum at judicial disposal.

The judge understands that “since the painting is from 1906, there is plenty of discussion about the classification of the good as of cultural interest or its cataloging” and the work in question, “is a clear example of Spanish historical heritage, since it is a contribution of the Spaniards to the world of art ”. Therefore, it is convenient that there is a crime of smuggling punishable by up to five years in prison.


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