Caja Madrid Judge Gets Practice Ban After Guilty Verdict

A court barred Elpidio Jose Silva, a Spanish judge, from practicing for 17 and a half years after ruling he had turned a court case into a personal “cause” against former Caja Madrid Chairman Miguel Blesa.

Silva was found guilty of perverting the course of justice and committing a crime against Blesa’s liberty. The judge’s investigation into a loan by the bank became an attack on the 67-year-old, according to a statement yesterday on the higher justice court’s website.

Silva reopened a probe into the loan in 2012 and put Blesa behind bars in May 2013 as he investigated losses resulting from Caja Madrid’s purchase of a bank in Florida in 2008. Blesa was freed on bail after a night in jail, then sent back to jail without bail the next month. Silva’s decision to revisit the case was overturned two weeks later and Blesa was released.

Caja Madrid merged with Bancaja and five other savings banks in 2010 to form the Bankia group, which went on to receive a 22 billion-euro ($28 billion) European bailout in 2012.

Silva wasn’t immediately available for comment when contacted by phone today.

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