Spanish Court Gets Extradition Request for Martin-Artajo

JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s London Offices
The offices of JPMorgan Chase & Co. stand in the Canary Wharf financial district in London. Photographer: Simon Dawson/Bloomberg

Oct. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Spain’s National Court received papers requesting the extradition of former JPMorgan Chase & Co. trader Javier Martin-Artajo on charges he helped hide trading losses that eventually surpassed $6.2 billion.

Judge Santiago Pedraz will call Martin-Artajo to court in coming days to ask whether he agrees to be extradited to the U.S., a spokesman for the court, who asked not to be identified by name in line with policy, said in a phone interview today.

Martin-Artajo turned himself into police in August after being contacted by investigators and was released after telling a Madrid court that he opposed extradition. The Spanish citizen, who oversaw synthetic credit trading at JPMorgan’s chief investment office in London, last month was indicted in the U.S. for engaging in a securities fraud to hide losses stemming from trades by Bruno Iksil, the Frenchman at the center of the case who became known as the London Whale.

No one was immediately available to comment at Cortes Abogados, a Madrid-based law firm that El Confidencial news website reported was hired by Martin-Artajo to represent him in Spain. Martin-Artajo’s attorney at Norton Rose Fulbright in London didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

Requests for extradition are usually addressed to Spain’s Ministry for External Affairs, said Carlos Gomez-Jara, a Madrid-based criminal law professor and lawyer. The government would then pass it to the court, he said.

If Martin-Artajo refused to be extradited, his case would proceed to be heard by a three-judge panel at the National Court, said Gomez-Jara, who has worked on cases involving U.S. extradition requests.

To contact the reporter on this story: Charles Penty in Madrid at cpenty@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Frank Connelly at fconnelly@bloomberg.net; Edward Evans at eevans3@bloomberg.net