EU commissioner cleared in Fortis probe

9th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

The EU's aid commissioner, Karel De Gucht, was cleared on Tuesday by Belgian justice authorities of any wrong-doing in the sale of Fortis shares last year just before the bank was dismantled.

A prosecutor in Ghent, northwest Belgium, said that "there is nothing to indicate that Mr De Gucht encouraged his wife, brother-in-law or any third party to sell their Fortis shares quickly."
De Gucht, a Flemish Liberal and foreign minister at the time, was suspected of advising family members to sell their Fortis shares last October but he maintained that they did so by their own initiative.
His wife and her brother sold 2,000 shares for EUR 5.50 (USD 7.87), which had originally been bought for EUR 22.50, a few hours before trading in Fortis shares was suspended. Fortis group was later dismantled.

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