Botin refuses to reply as bank trial resumes
Tuesday 01 February 2005
The boss of Spain's No 1 bank, Santander Central Hispano, which bought Abbey National in Europe's biggest cross-border raid, is accused of misspending Û160m of bank funds. "I'm not going to reply to this private accusation," Mr Botin said, as the trial resumed in a high-security courtroom usually reserved for terrorism cases.
While the plaintiffs' lawyers rattled off 120 questions, Mr Botin sat in silence, pointedly looking the other way. He said their purpose was to "persecute" the bank, and he would answer questions only from the public prosecutor and the defence.
Mr Botin, 70, one of Spain's richest men, is being tried alongside the former directors Jose Maria Amusategui and Jose Angel Corcostegui, who received Û56m and Û108m each to retire early from SCH's board, the first in 2001 and the second in 2002.
Among the questions put to Mr Botin was whether the pension deals agreed with Mr Amusategui and Mr Corcostegui sought to remove their possible objections to the fusion of Banco Santander and Banco Central Hispano, with Mr Botin as undisputed boss of the merged bank.
He later testified before prosecutors, describing Mr Corcostegui as "brilliant", but when Mr Botin was asked why the former director was paid to retire at 50, the judge recessed the trial.
The complaint was brought by two shareholders who claim the payments were product of a secret deal that amounted to "disloyal management". Santander insists the disputed payments were carried out "in accordance with the law", and approved by the board and the shareholders.
- 1 Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
- 2 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 3 US? China? India? The 10 biggest economies in 2030 will be...
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
General Election 2015: David Cameron catching up in polls – but he badly needs a clear lead
Alan Rickman admits editing 'terrible' script with friends in Pizza Hut behind backs of writers on Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
South Africa xenophobic attacks: Shops looted and violence on streets of Johannesburg as foreigners are forced to hide in police stations
18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
Food banks: One million Britons will soon be using them, according to Trussell Trust
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
iJobs Money & Business
£20000 - £25000 per annum + OTE £45,000: SThree: SThree Group have been well e...
£50000 - £667000 per annum + excellent benefits : Ashdown Group: IT Manager / ...
£13000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Scotland's leading life insuran...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: Training Programme Manag...