Judge subpoenas former Caja Madrid chief in preferred shares cases

Court also cites 14 other former officials from savings bank and Bancaja

Former Caja Madrid chief Miguel Blesa arrives at court in January.
Former Caja Madrid chief Miguel Blesa arrives at court in January.EFE

High Court Judge Fernando Andreu has named former Caja Madrid Chairman Miguel Blesa, as well as 14 other directors of the savings bank and Bancaja, as official suspects in the sale of complex preferred shares to financially unsophisticated customers, judicial sources said Tuesday.

Blesa has been cited by the judge to appear before him for questioning on March 3 at 3pm. A number of people affected by their ill-fated investment in the complicated hybrid instruments, sold by Caja Madrid and Bankia, have filed lawsuits to recover the big losses they suffered on their investments. Bankia – which is the commercial banking arm of BFA, and was formed from the merger of Caja Madrid, Bancaja and five other savings banks – has also set up an arbitration process for those affected.

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The other former Caja Madrid directors subpoenaed for the same day by Judge Andreu include Gonzalo Martín Pascual and Gerardo Díaz Ferrán. The latter, who is the former chairman of the Confederation of Spanish Business Organizations (CEOE), Spain’s largest employer group, is currently in preventive custody in a jail just outside of Madrid, while a court pursues an investigation into alleged offenses of tax fraud and money laundering.

The former Caja Madrid directors Jesús Pedroche, Rodolfo Benito, José Manuel Fernández Norniella and José María Arteta were cited by Judge Andreu to appear in court on March 4; Fernando Cuesta Blázquez, Carlos Contreras and Manuel Fernández Navarro were called for the following day; and Carlos Stalianopoulos, Jose Luis Sánchez Blázquez and Alvaro Canosa Castillo were called for March 6.

On March 7, it will be the turn of former Bancaja officials Aurelio Izquierdo and Fernando García-Checa to appear before the judge.

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