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Why the Villarejo case is playing tricks on Torres, the CEO in his final years as Commissioner

One of the most challenging areas of research into the macrocause of Tandem is one that focuses on the hiring that BBVA made from the companies of former commissioner José Manuel Villarejo in the period from 2004 to 2017. Many of the members of the bank’s management at that time chaired Francis Gonzalez. For more than three years that the judge of the National High Court Manuel Garcia Castellon He carefully reviewed all contracts, invoices and payments that have been made to an undercover agent for over ten years, the current president of the organization, Charles Torreshas not been called to testify and is unlikely to be, despite the fact that in recent years he was the CEO of an organization in which the former police officer worked in a bank.

In fact, recently a booster judge Joaquin Gadea – with whom the head of the investigation is in close contact – refused to call him to testify as a witness in order to dispel doubts that the bank managed to hide data relevant to the case. The judge explains that there are no signs that the President of the Basque Education gave the order to hide the documents which may affect the procedure, even that he knows the content internal dossier created as a result of the outbreak of the so-called “Villarejo case”to collect all the information on the progress of these investigations.

Legal sources close to the case indicate to La Información that they agree with the decision not to interrogate the president of the BBVA regarding the information folder, although they claim to be amazed by the fact that the investigator never interested in collecting his version about what he might have known about the orders given to Villarejo before he reached the top of the bank. As already noted, in the various positions he held in the financial institution, Torres hierarchical superiority about several of those studied. In this sense, they point out that their predecessor as CEO, Angel Kano (from 2009 to 2015), charged in the ninth separate case of the Tandem macro case; and that the former CEO, Ignacio Goyrigolzarri (from 2001 to 2009) has just been called as a witness.

Charles Torres arrived at BBVA in 2008 and until 2014 was the director Strategy and corporate development. From there he began to lead Global Digital Banking Zone for a year as he became Francisco González’s “number two” in 2015, replacing Ángel Cano. A position he has held for over three years since he replaced FG as president of the bank in 2018. The first months as head of the prosecution were turbulent as they coincided with the start in January 2019 of the National High Court investigation into the organization’s relationship with the controversial police officer. In July of the same year, Judge Garcia Castellón agreed with imputation BBVA as a legal entity.

“As I said in January and have said many times since, our priority is to find out the facts and cooperate with justice and it will continue to be so, ”Torres assured, upon learning of the accusation against the bank he manages. forensic report, commissioned by PwC’s lawyers to clear internal duties. In that context, many of the managers under investigation in the case were fired while others continued to lead, as in the case of Juan Azua, now a Torres adviser, who testified before a judge last week and distanced himself from appointments. a former police officer who was arrested in November 2017.

“I have repeatedly reiterated that our priority is to find out the facts and cooperate with the justice system,” Torres said upon learning of the BBVA indictment.

There is no evidence in the summary

Why hasn’t Torres been called to testify yet? According to legal sources consulted by the newspaper, the truth is that the summary does not contain any evidence that calls into question his actions during the investigation years. In other words, there is no evidence that the current president of the BBVA knew or participated in commissions or payments services rendered by Villarejo, for which he received more than 10 million euros. So, compared to Ignacio Goyrigolzarri -for whose statement there is still no date-, the same sources indicate that the judge intends to find out if he, at the time when the current president of CaixaBank was the CEO of BBVA, had access to one of the first reports prepared by the retired commissioner (2004 and 2005) Takeover bid submitted by Sacyr Vallehermoso and why “he dared not comment” on this with Francisco Gonzalez despite the fact that “he thought it might be a crime”.

In this sense, the same sources also note that they are surprised that Goyrigolzarri was not cited earlier to counter the statement of one of the defendants, the one who was the head of the real estate department, Antonio Beharand learn firsthand why Villarejo was booked investigate the assets of overdue customersif such a service has already been requested from another Kroll detective agency. This may be related to the second theory, which is held by some of the legal sources consulted. This highlights what the researchers want to end up with. tighten the fence around the “main” defendants in the caselike former president Francisco Gonzalez and his director of security, Julio Corrociano. While not all sources fully agree with this point, they indicate that this relevant evidence will serve as the basis for the latest investigated statements by the former directors and complete the circle of responsibility for the hiring of Villarejo in Corrociano and Bejar.

A third hypothesis for why the judicial investigation eludes Carlos Torres has to do with “forensic examination” and all documentation that BBVA itself submitted to the court. Most trusted sources claim that in these files Data that may affect directly to the president. However, they recall that references to his chief adviser Juan Azua, who at the time of Villarejo’s hiring was the company’s CEO in Spain and Portugal, were also not included, and based on this responsibility and his alleged knowledge of the facts under investigation He has been indicted since 2019..

Del Rivero’s request

Defense of former President Sacyr Vallehermoso, Louis Rivero; his former “number two”, Vincent Benedict; and former director of BBVA Jose Domingo de Ampuero -whom Villarejo christened as “Hostile Group”asked Torres to testify last April to find out how much he knew about the contracts with the retired commissioner. All this after BBVA Communications Director Paul Tobin, confirmed before the judge that he was collecting information, both internal and external, to pass it on to the president of the organization, which was first occupied by Gonzalez and then by Torres. “Dirkom” in this case is imputed in connection with the suspicions of the anti-corruption service in concealing certain information by the bank. Doubt engendered posture change another of those under investigation, the former head of the Security Service Ines Diaz Ochagaviawho first promised the judge to provide the “Google Drive” folder that Tobin created with the start of the “Villarejo case” and withdrew the offer a day later.

The bank has always defended what it provided to the judge from day one all Cenyt documentation at his disposal, although he never fully convinced prosecutors. However, the Anti-Corruption Service and the investigating judge opposed Del Rivero’s lawyer’s request to call the president of the bank to testify, given that there is no indication that he knows more than the head of communications could tell him. They also believe that the head of the bank for almost four years did not give no instructions to interfere with the investigation.


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