BBVA refuses to testify on the last works that the plot of Villarejo made for the entity in 2018 | Economy

The La Vela building, headquarters of BBVA in Madrid.Paul Monge

The second statement by BBVA as a legal person responsible for the Villarejo case it lasted a minute. This is the time that their lawyers took to declare that the legal representative of the entity, Adolfo Fraguas, director of legal services of BBVA Spain, was not going to answer any of the questions invoking his right, legal sources point out to EL PAÍS present at the interrogation. The entity justified its decision in that the National Court has not yet resolved the appeal that it presented, precisely, against this new summons to be questioned and where it was going to be questioned about the new works carried out by the conspiracy of the Commissioner José Manuel Villarejo did so in 2018 for the entity, when the policeman was already imprisoned.

In the brief appearance, the bank limited itself to endorsing what it said in late 2019, when it said for 15 hours over three days while the matter was still under wraps. Next, Fraguas was questioned by Judge Manuel García-Castellón and the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office to find out who had decided and who knew within the bank that the commissioner had been hired for 13 years to spy on political and business leaders and officials. journalists. BBVA then insisted on the fact that the bank had no responsibility and that it was unaware that the commissioner was behind Cenyt, the company hired for this work. The representative of the entity highlighted as the ultimate responsible the former head of security of the entity, former commissioner Julio Corrochano, also indicted.

BBVA had been summoned to testify this Wednesday by the judge of the High National Court Manuel García-Castellón, in an order dated July 22 in which he agreed to extend the investigation of the case until January 2023. In this resolution , the magistrate proposed to 67 people to appear in the case as “possible injured or offended or victims” in the work that the commissioner carried out for the entity. Among them was the businessman Ignacio López del Hierro, husband of the former general secretary of the PP María Dolores de Cospedal. The magistrate specified in this order that the summons to the bank was made at the request of Anticorruption after the discovery of “new facts” in the context of exhibit number 31 of the summary procedure, opened last March in duplicate of the main of the summary. In his resolution, the judge referred, in particular, to a work commissioned in January 2018, when Villarejo was already in prison, to the company Anbycol, owned by one of the commissioner’s partners, also a policeman Antonio Bonilla, to access “Reserved Police Database Information”.

The entity appealed, alleging that the judge’s decision left them “helpless”, since this data had been obtained behind their “back” in an excerpt from the summary to which they did not have access. This is the resource that the bank’s lawyers used this Wednesday to justify Fraguas’ silence. BBVA’s decision contrasts with its insistence throughout the case on showing an image of collaboration with justice. Anti-corruption has already accused the current management of the financial institution, in a July 2021 report, of its alleged lack of cooperation in investigations.

BBVA has been indicted in the Villarejo case since July 2019 for the alleged commission of the crimes of bribery, discovery and disclosure of secrets, and commercial bribery for payments from millionaires to companies in Villarejo, the epicenter of the corruption macroconspiracy making investigated by the National Court for five years. years. The relationship between the bank and the police began in 2004, when the construction company Sacyr tried to take control of the banking group. This link was maintained, at least, until 2018. The bank did not initiate the first internal investigations until May 2018, after the first payments to one of the companies of the pension commissioner, stopped the previous year, were revealed in the newspaper. press. , to discover the dark plots of Luis Pineda, president of Ausbanc, accused of extorting money from the financial institution.

Since then, the cause has continued to gain weight with the investigation into new commissions from BBVA to the commissioner that were discovered. To carry out this espionage work, Villarejo allegedly illegally accessed “an enormous amount of personal data” in police databases, according to reports included in the summary. They are already accused in the case. Besides BBVA, about twenty people, including Villarejo himself and the entity’s former president, Francisco González. Over the next few weeks, various employees of the entity are summoned to testify as witnesses or defendants, including Francisco González himself, who will do so at his own request on December 15.

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