April 10, 2021

The National High Court orders the judge in the Villarejo case to demand Béjar’s agendas from BBVA




The Third Section of the Criminal Chamber of the National High Court has ordered the judge in the Villarejo case that collects from BBVA the work agendas and emails that it keeps from the former head of Risks of the entity and former president of the Castellana Norte District (DCN), Antonio Béjar, who had been claiming them without success.

In a car to which ABC had access, the magistrates thus pronounce themselves in favor of the resources that Béjar himself and the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office had presented against the decision of Judge Manuel García Castellón, who last December refused to practice that diligence because he considered that it was “Unnecessary” inasmuch as it involved “a request addressed to BBVA, who, ultimately, You have the right not to provide anything that could be incriminating to you.

Both Béjar and BBVA as a legal entity are being investigated for the orders that the entity made for the companies of the retired commissioner and in provisional prison José Manuel Villarejo for a decade and for which it paid just over ten million euros.

Béjar, who collaborates with Anticorrupción and has been giving a statement on the different orders, asked that the bank be required to deliver both the corporate emails and the agendas carried by its secretaries, understanding that this documentation is essential for its defense. In fact, has been the only one of the defendants in this matter who has claimed that documentation. BBVA was opposed.

Override the resolution

After the refusal, he went to the Criminal Chamber, which now agrees with him and declares the resolution of the investigating judge null and void. It understands that there are no reasons for lack of relevance, usefulness, necessity or proportionality that justify that such documentation is not collected and he sees “undoubtedly” that there are not any to do so “from the perspective of the right of defense and non-self-incrimination” from BBVA.

To begin with, because the bank “has not raised such an objection” to object to providing those documents, but also because the requirement does not have to involve any coercive measure for the entity. The Chamber recalls that there is also the possibility that there is nothing in those papers that incriminates BBVA and in any case, its right not to incriminate itself «it is not incompatible “with the actions of the court to collect “by their own means” probative material.

For the court, Béjar was charged with “probative material brought to the trial” by BBVA and coming out of its own files “according to criteria” that, it presumes, “They have been guided by their own interest.” “The fragmentary nature of the material provided is not questioned, nor is it questioned that potentially incriminating indications for Béjar emerge from it. Therefore, the relevance, usefulness and necessity of the measures proposed by him cannot be questioned, which, in short, consist of giving him access to the group from which the extractions provided by BBVA were carried out, ”added the magistrates.

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