March 1, 2021

The lawyer of Acebes and the auditor of Bankia are involved in the need of the report of an expert | Economy

The lawyer of Acebes and the auditor of Bankia are involved in the need of the report of an expert | Economy

Francisco Celma, audit partner of Deloitte and in charge of auditing Bankia's 2011 accounts, is currently the only defendant who is answering questions from all parties in the trial due to the entity's IPO. In his third interrogation session, he has become entangled with Ángel Acebes' lawyer, Carlos Aguilar, who has put him on the ropes to the point of getting him to contradict himself with respect to what was stated in the instruction, when it was not yet imputed and he appeared only as a witness.

Celma has stated several times that he made himself available to the audit committee, chaired by Ángel Acebes, and that he provided his telephone and other contact information, but that he was never called back or summoned to attend a committee meeting. Acebes' lawyer asked him if he did not also have the contact details of Acebes, with which he could have alerted him that, as he pointed out during the interrogation, he could not do his job because BFA / Bankia did not give him the documentation necessary Celma has assured that he did not have his data, before what Aguilar has read his 2013 statement, when he acknowledged that he did have them. "If I said that, I was wrong, I do not have them, I never had them," Celma replied.

The audit partner, for whom popular and private accusations call for 12 years in prison for crimes of accounting falsification and swindling investors as a necessary cooperator, has reached this point of the interrogation and very annoyed with Aguilar's questions. This has insisted again and again on the content of 13 emails sent between December 2011 and March 2012 in which the Celma team requested information from Bankia. Acebes' lawyer wanted to demonstrate that in none of them did the auditors request that an "independent expert" make an assessment of BFA's participation in Bankia. The lawyer has been asking one by one if that expression appeared, before the growing discomfort of Celma, who refused to answer yes or no, as asked by the lawyer. "I understand that no, that adjective does not appear," he finally said.

Aguilar has continued asking him if in some of those emails the word "salvedad" or "inviabilidad" appears with respect to BFA. "When I finish my work, it is when I certify what I have found, what I do not do is futurible." I do not say "if you give me this, I will say this", he answered, stressing the idea that for months he could not do his job because he There was a lack of key documentation. Finally, on April 30, 2012, Bankia presented its 2011 accounts to the CNMV without Deloitte's audit report, which precipitated the fall of the entity.

The lawyer has also been very insistent when asking why he did not contact Acebes: "Did you stop transmitting relevant information because you were not cited?" To which Celma has replied: "Nobody quoted me and that does not mean that I stop doing my work, if the committee wants me to go, I go and report, otherwise I do my job when I have the documentation and I issue a opinion"

Celma also affirmed that she spoke by telephone and met with the Bank of Spain's executives in January 2012 and that she informed them of how Bankia was evolving, something that already counted during his second day of interrogation, last Wednesday. Then he even specified who he met with: Jerónimo Martínez Tello, whom he said he told him about BFA's problems, and later with José Antonio Casaus, head of inspection of the Bank of Spain at Bankia.

Celma has acknowledged that sharing information with the supervisor "is not so common", but has assured that it did so because upon receiving a call from the Bank of Spain interested in the situation of the entity, the law obliged him to do so.

The crime of accounting falsification

Monday's session began with the request of Ángel Acebes' lawyer, Carlos Aguilar, to the president of the court not to allow the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office to make "incriminating questions" to the accused. According to Aguilar, the prosecutor, Carmen Launa, should not be allowed to ask questions that contradict her initial indictment. It refers to the Prosecutor's Office initially only accuses for fraud of four of 34 defendants in the trial. However, Launa already advanced at the beginning of the trial that could change its imputation during the final conclusions (at the end of the trial) and add the crime of accounting falsification.

"They are not incriminating questions, it is to see what has happened to adapt your final qualification", the prosecutor answered. As he argued at the time, and has repeated today, the assumption for which he did not accuse all the people who participated in the formulation of the Bankia accounts of 2011 declined. I had not taken into account during the instruction a new expert report by Antonio Busquets It would show that the information that appeared in the IPO brochure did not reflect the actual status of the accounts.

This Monday is the first session of the trial that takes place in the morning and afternoon. It is expected that witnesses will begin to testify on Wednesday. According to legal sources, the first one is José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, the current president of Bankia. He will be followed by Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, who was governor of the Bank of Spain between 2006 and 2012. The session ended after seven in the afternoon and will resume tomorrow, still with the interrogation of Francisco Celma.


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