TheÂ Council Act of 29 May 2000Â establishing the Convention on Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters between the Member States of the European Union enables prosecutors and courts of EU countries to receive assistance from one another when investigating crimes. This Act supplements the European Convention onÂ Mutual Assistance in Criminal MattersÂ of 20 April 1959.
The Act does not cover International police, extradition and customs collaboration, all of which are regulated by other laws, butÂ measures required by courts and prosecutorsÂ in preliminary investigation and in court proceedings.
Denia (Alicante) Court number 1, currently investigating alleged fraud in the marketing and sale of mortgage in Spain, has ordered one of such measures: the interrogation of the de facto owner of The Rothschild Group, Mr. Baron David de Rothschild. To achieve this, lawyers acting for victims of the â€śCredit Select Series 4â€ť mortgage loanÂ have recently submitted to the Spanish Court a list of questionsÂ that Mr. Rothschild should respond to, when summoned by the appropriate French Court.
The deposition questions relate mostly to the extensive advertising employed by Guernsey-based Rothschild Bank International, owned by The Rothschild Group, to market and sell Spanish mortgages as scheme to reduce potential inheritance taxes.
Rothschild lawyers have cynicallyÂ denied any knowledge of the proceedingsÂ and refused to collaborate, in spite of a meeting held with a journalist from El PaĂs to discuss their version prior to running the story, or the visit paid by police officers to their Madrid offices to deliver the summons. On this occasion, the officers were fobbed off by dismissive staff with a lame excuse: â€śhe does not work hereâ€ť.
Mr. Rothschildâ€™s attitude is in contrast with his groupâ€™s advertised motto, â€śHarmony, Integrity, Industry, qualities that are best underpinned by the Denia judge who, so far, seems unperturbed by the stature of the individual.
With Courts resuming their activity this week, there will be a mixture of expectation and hope among the victims of a fraudulently-sold mortgage loan who now need to know, sooner rather than later, what Rothschildâ€™s top man has to say.