Keys to understanding Malaga’s legal mess: Al Thani, BlueBay, APA …

Francisco Valverde is the lawyer of the APA (Association of Small Shareholders), a key platform because he was the one who filed the complaint against the Al-Thani family that led to the dismissal of all their positions in Malaga by court order andl appointment of José María Muñoz as judicial administrator. This was on February 20, 2020.

The social peace that the club is experiencing does not mean that this situation cannot last forever. The judicial intervention will last until the magistrate of the 15th court of Malaga, Maria Angeles Ruiz, consider that the club’s situation is on track. But the crossover trials are still open. As reported by Cadena SER, the Al-Thani were summoned to testify on February 28. There’s no answer. Everything is still open.

Valverde cleared these and many other doubts in an illustrative interview granted in the 101TV program ‘Area Malaguista’. For your interest we reproduce some passages.

Request to the Al-Thani. “The last and most remarkable thing is that his honor has deemed it appropriate to give a wake-up call to the Qatari government because there was a request to take a statement from the Al-Thani family and no news has yet been received about it. His honor has requested through the Ministry of the Interior that he contact the Qatari authorities to find out why this request is not being fulfilled for this alleged videoconference to take a statement, which is a test that must be practiced yes or yes ”.

Cumbersome process. “The issue began with the impossibility of taking a statement from them personally due to the pandemic and because he was not in the country. What is intended at least is to take a statement from him electronically so that this interrogation of part can be included in the investigations, which is included in the proceedings, can be closed and the proceedings can be raised to the criminal court so that it can be held the oral trial ”.

Can Al-Thani be declared in absentia? “To declare someone in absentia in a criminal process… In fact, the taking of a statement is a guarantee that is given to the people against whom a criminal process is initiated so that they can defend themselves. They can also take advantage of their right not to testify, but the procedure must be complied with ”.

The conflict with BlueBay. “We know that the appeal has been filed by the sheikh, but I believe, and any fellow lawyer would agree, that it is a strategy because that appeal will not prosper. It is an extraordinary appeal that has to be very well founded and I believe that in this procedure will surely be dismissed by the Supreme Court ”.

Defense of Al Thani. “The sheikh has a lawyer for the BlueBay case but not for the criminal trial. No one has come forward in the criminal proceedings since Baker & McKenzie withdrew from their defense and representation. He has no procedural representation that we know of. Your Honor will make whatever determination it may be, the instructions have a termination, an extension has already had to be incurred. I do not understand why the sheikh does that because while that happens the administration has to continue because it is a precautionary measure on which that procedure is based.

Next step expected. “The judicial administration is a vehicle to take the club while they are charged in the criminal case. The capital increase cannot be carried out now, at least for this year, because there is no budgetary need and everything has to be justified. Especially when the management is based on an instruction sponsored by the court. When the final resolution of who owns 97% of Malaga’s shares comes out, the parties will have to agree to carry out the management through whatever procedure or request the liquidation of that company that they have halfway through, NAS Spain, which will not be easy or fast either. Another way, if the property is already going to be defined, since each of the partners will have to sell those shares or sell those shares. It will be a little clearer after the tedious process between BlueBay and Al-Thani is closed ”.

NAS Spain situation. “The administrator had to be put in because the Al-Thani family was also on that board of directors. BlueBay, in NAS Spain 2000, is a shareholder, even a minority, because it has 49%. The other party had 51% and also made up the administrative body. I know that they have requested a board of directors, that the accounts of a number of years be approved … A series of things in which we have nothing to do. I suppose that the court will agree on what is necessary together with the judicial administrator to see what is done. The normal thing is that that company is consolidated with that property and between them, the partners, agree to see if it is liquidated or each one wants to sell their shares of NAS Spain, not Malaga ”.

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Valuation of actionss. “The actions of the sheikh were seized on a precautionary basis, but an expert assessment was pending. A first approximation was made, but some of the parties that make up the particular accusation did not agree on the value that had been given to it. We asked for clarification of the criteria by which it had been valued in this way (about 40 million euros). Some of us believed that it was a somewhat hasty assessment and now we are still waiting for it to be clarified, that it can issue a somewhat more reliable assessment than was given ”.

More by Al-Thani. “The sheikh has a precautionary embargo to respond in the event that he is convicted. It’s those 8.5 million euros. If in the end it turns out that he is convicted of these alleged crimes, that he is now innocent until proven otherwise, and also in a civil way for the damage to the entity, it could be taken away, alienated or sold ”.

Club valuation at 40 million euros. Málaga has a share capital of 17.5 million euros and the progress of society cannot make us think that this has been revalued three times. It does not conform to reality. I think it was something hasty, you have to assess well the tangible of society. CVC has just saved us, a capital increase was being studied, which has grown three times ”.

Alleged BlueBay debt for t-shirt sponsorship. “What I understand is that the commercial court has already received the lawsuit from Málaga CF, by the judicial administrator, and I suppose that it will be in the process of transferring it to the opposite party so that it knows the deadline to make your statement of opposition, allegations or whatever you have to do ”.

End of judicial administration. “I think this will last until the sheikh is taken to the statement, the investigation is closed and the proceedings are raised to the criminal trial. Once all the paperwork is done, the process that remains is much shorter than it has been so far. That each one present their accusation and defense briefs and a date is already set for the oral trial. I still reckon there are a few months to go. I can’t tell if there are six or seven ”.

Who will rule the club if the receivership ends? “The administrator has done a good job but he is not a definitive figure. The administration is a precautionary measure, it is governed by the principle of provisionality. The day will come when Málaga will be in the hands of whoever has to be. That will happen when the people who by law would have to carry that address are not in a judicial process, which is what your honor has done. Do the Al-Thani have to be tried for these alleged crimes? Well, they can’t be in the chicken coop. This will end when the criminal process concludes with the guilt or not of these crimes. The sheikh may be guilty of some crimes, but property has never been taken from him. There is a property that is untouchable. This criminal trial and the civil trial of BlueBay are touched at a certain point because it has to be clarified whose majority is and then a board of directors will have to be appointed. And if he is not charged in any criminal trial, he will have to take charge of Malaga. The problem that BlueBay has is that it has to agree with the sheikh ”.

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