Tougher penalties for former Bankia

The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office yesterday left the door open to toughen the accusation against the main defendants accused of the Bankia's going public and to accuse them, in addition to the crime of swindling investors, of accounting falsification, which could also be extended to the rest of the 34 defendants. With this change, introduced at the beginning of the previous questions, the representative of the Office of the Prosecutor, Carmen Launa, dismantled one of the main theses of the defenses: the invocation of the so-called "Botín doctrine", by which they requested that all be excluded those processed with respect to those that the Public Ministry did not formulate accusation initially.

To attend this trial, Rodrigo Rato, José Antonio Moral Santín, Estanislao Rodríguez-Ponga, Francisco Baquero, Jorge Gómez and José María de la Riva temporarily abandoned the prisons of Soto del Real and Aranjuez, where they serve sentences for the so-called "case of the black cards ». The six were sitting in the front row and Rato did not stop taking notes in a notebook that he had during the whole session.

In its brief of provisional conclusions, the Public Ministry accuses exclusively to four ex- heads of the financial organization: the ex- president Rodrigo Rato, for whom it requests five years of jail; the former number two, José Luis Olivas, who faces four years in prison; the former counselor José Manuel Fernández Norniella and the former CEO Francisco Verdú, for whom he initially requests three and two years and seven months in prison, respectively.

The representative of the Office of the Prosecutor introduced this qualification, which would be specified by virtue of the results of the tests carried out in the sessions of the oral trial, in order to prevent them later from claiming defencelessness, because they were accused of facts that were not imputed to them. In his speech, he justified that possible change of approach in the "accounting irregularities" contained in Bankia's IPO prospectus, which led to the deception of the small shareholders; brochure that, he added, "has been the instrument of the defendants to hide the real state" of the accounts of the entity, which led to a deception to the shareholders who subscribed those securities when Bankia began trading on the market.

In the turn of allegations, the defense of Rodrigo Rato, exercised by lawyer Ignacio Ayala, focused on rejecting the new version of the Prosecutor's Office and pointed out how the former Bankia president himself acquired 66,000 shares of the entity when it went public, that supposed an outlay of about 255,000 euros. This action, affirmed Ayala in this regard, "does not sympathize with the intentional crime, because it trusted -Rato- in the IPO and in the institution." The defense of Olivas also indicated that same circumstance, although in that case the actions were worth 150,000 euros, which he maintained until "long after leaving the financial entity."

Along with this, practically all of the accused asked the court, chaired by Judge Ángela Murillo, to be exempt from being present at the sessions where their presence does not contribute anything and they only come when they have to testify or during the shift. the last word.

For its part, Bankia's representation denies in its report any type of irregularity in its IPO. Thus, it points out that the Public Offer for the Subscription of Shares "was supervised and authorized by the National Securities Market Commission at all times.

In this way, it emphasizes that the information brochure, referred to by the prosecutor, was prepared by Bankia and its advisers "in permanent and close contact with the CNMV", which, like the Bank of Spain, had all the information .


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