Banking tycoon is acquitted of pensions fraud

14th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

14 April 2005, MADRID -The head of Spain's country's largest bank, Banco Santander Central Hispano, has been acquitted on charges of making improper severance payments to former directors.

14 April 2005

MADRID -The head of Spain's country's largest bank, Banco Santander Central Hispano, has been acquitted on charges of making improper severance payments to former directors.

A spokesman for the bank said he was unable to confirm that Banco Santander Hispano (SCH) chairman Emilio Botin had been found innocent but that an official statement was expected later in the day.

Botin was standing trial alongside the two ex-directors, former co-chairman Jose Maria Amusategui and ex-chief executive Angel Corcostegui, who allegedly
received the irregular severance payments.

Spanish media reported all three had been acquitted.

SCH shareholders Francisco Franco Otegui and Rafael Perez Escolar accused the trio two years ago of illegally siphoning off funds by awarding pensions worth EUR 152 million to Amusategui and Corcostegui.

The public prosecutor's office had said it would seek the acquittal of the three but investigating judge Teresa Palacios rejected attempts to have the case closed before the trial and the plaintiff's lawyers had demanded a 12-year jail term for Botin and six for his co-defendants.

SCH directors have insisted throughout the case that the payments were made legally with the approval of the bank's administrative council as well as by a shareholders' general assembly.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news

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