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Suspended the trial against the banker Jaime Botín for the alleged smuggling of a ‘picasso’ The prosecutor asked for four years in prison for Jaime Loot by smuggling a ‘picasso’

throughout the morning, prosecution and defense challenged themselves to paint. No one pretended to compete with the Head of a young woman, who was Pablo Picasso in 1906, valued at 26.2 million euros. But, perhaps inspired by size art, the lawyers took great pains to hang in the living room the portrait more credible case. The Prosecutor’s office and the State attorney drew a crisp design: they believe that the former president of Bankinter, Jaime Botín, of 83 years, took the work of Spain in 2015, to sell it, despite the fact that the Ministry of Culture had banned. Accuse him of smuggling, they ask for four years of imprisonment and a fine of 100 million. The accused and his defence, in contrast, stained his narrative of innocence: Booty acknowledged that his picasso came out of the national borders, but only temporarily, “in transit”: “I Wanted to save it in a safe place, it is the opposite of an export”. Posts to discuss the boxes, the lawyers debated even on the framework: the defense sought to blur the regularity of the trial itself.

Loot, during the trial in which he is accused of an alleged commission of an offence of smuggling of cultural goods. kike to

The case started seven years ago. On December 5, 2012, Loot authorized Christie’s Iberica to try to auction off his picasso. Before a large bid in February in London, the company was asked to Culture the necessary permissions, “because it’s a well belonging to the Spanish heritage, because of its obvious historic and artistic interest”, according to the attorney. But, a week later, Booty knew of Christie’s who had “stopped the grant”. In particular, the Board of Qualification, Assessment and Export of Spanish Historical Heritage has unanimously affirmed that the piece was “one of the few made by Picasso during the period of Gósol”, that summer decisive for the development of cubism, which the artist passed in 1906 in the village almenar. Therefore, he had to stay in Spain.

The box was seized on Jaime Botín, ‘Head of young woman’. guardia civil

Even so, the prosecution believes that the banker ignored: raised the box to his sailboat, the Adix, docked in Valencia, and there he hid with the collaboration of the captain. So much so that an inspection of the Guardia Civil on board in 2015 could not find the Head of a young woman, according to the attorney. “After the publication in the press of several news about the whereabouts of the box, I told the captain to be careful. I was not interested in talk of him. I asked him to embalara and keep it in a box, when I was not on board,” replied Loot. And held that, before the fear of any thief, began to look for alternatives.

That same summer, the Adix moved to Calvi, Corsica (France). And, from there, the banker booked a private plane to carry the box to Geneva. What for a future sale? The prosecutor imagine that, yes. And underlines that the captain had the work ready for the flight, when the French customs authorities the were located and searched. Since then, the picasso is in the stores in the Reina Sofia: if we show that came out of Spain despite being inexportable, will be incorporated into the national heritage, without compensation. And not only: the State bar also requests the seizure of the Adix.

Loot, of course, sees it the opposite way: he argues, first of all, who asked whether the Government would exercise its right of purchase, but the economic crisis led the Executive to discard millions investing in art. At the same time, appealed against the refusal of Culture before the National high court —where he lost in 2015— and, again, before the Supreme court —still pending—. Meanwhile, also withdrew its application for export and opted for another argumentario: the work had always been in the foreigner; that is to say, I could not get out of Spain, if he had never entered.

His defense insisted that the box just stepped on home soil in three occasions: on the farm with aerodrome of the family in Ciudad Real, for the wedding of the daughter of the Loot, at the beginning of this century; in the madrid headquarters of Christie’s, a few days after the denial of export. And aboard the Adix, anchored in Valencia, where a notary left establishes its presence in January 2013.

Since then, the work has remained in the boat, whose flag is british, and has navigated within and outside the Spanish waters. Even your original purchase, back in 1977, was produced in London, recalls the defense. Even the trip to Corsica, or the flight flinch to Loot: he said that it was Calvi “vacation” and “had nothing to do with the box”. So why you booked a plane? The banker said that was intended to protect the box waiting for the final decision: sell it, if the Supreme court gives the reason for the export, or resigned. He reiterated that, when it was realized that to take it to Switzerland carried a export, canceled the flight.

After his statement, the Loot was exempted from attending the rest of the audience. And his lawyer, Javier Gómez Bermúdez (who became famous as a judge of the 11-M), was launched to hit the research for the Civil Guard launched the case. If your pillar is uneven, the trial itself is not worth, it hopes to demonstrate the lawyer. So we talked for a long time of irregularities and contradictions, of dates that are missing or arrive too soon. If you have convinced the judge, Elena Raquel Gonzalez Bayon, you will know in the next few days: it is expected that the trial continues tomorrow and ends Friday. But what is certain is that Gómez Bermúdez pulled crazy to the two police officers called to testify. One told him that his sources were “dark”; on the other, he blurted out, “If you want, it gets you here and I will answer your questions.” Both police officers were left in the boxes.

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