THE BLESA CASE

Judge who jailed banker could be barred from office

Elpidio José Silva sent former head of Caja Madrid, Miguel Blesa, to jail twice

Madrid -

The Supreme Court of Madrid has opened proceedings against a judge for possibly overstepping his brief when he ordered the former chairman of a savings bank to be kept in jail while he carried out his investigation into the bank's purchase of a lender in Florida, judicial sources said Thursday.

The court argued that there are "clear" signs that Judge Elpidio José Silva had exceeded his powers by sending Miguel Blesa, the former head of Caja Madrid, to jail twice for his involvement in the savings bank's purchase of City National Bank, on the grounds he was a flight risk. Blesa was released on both occasions.

If found guilty Silva could be barred from the legal profession for up to 40 years. The public prosecutor is seeking to have him debarred for 30 years.

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