Fortis case: the file is time-barred, judges the Brussels council chamber

Seven former directors were suspected of not having sufficiently informed investors.

Lhe Brussels council chamber ruled on Friday that the charges in the case relating to the fall of Fortis 11 years ago were time-barred. The investigating judge had indicted seven former directors of the Fortis group and the eponymous bank, suspected of not having sufficiently informed investors. The prosecution, however, requested a dismissal.

The judicial investigation into the fall of Fortis dates back to October 2008 and focused mainly on the period between September 2007 and April 2008. At the time, Fortis had planned a capital increase, carried out in September 2007. During of the investigation, the investigating judge had indicted seven former directors of the Fortis group and the bank of the same name, suspecting them of not having sufficiently informed investors of Fortis’ exposure to the consequences of the real estate crisis in the States United, during the takeover of ABN Amro.

Agreement concluded in the Netherlands

Initially, the Brussels public prosecutor’s office decided to prosecute the defendants for false entry in the annual accounts, fraud and infringements of article 39 of the law of 2 August 2002 on the supervision of the financial sector and financial services. , which provides for information obligations.

But after additional duties, the prosecution concluded that it was not certain that the prevention of forgery and the use of forgery could be sufficiently demonstrated. In addition, an agreement was reached in the Netherlands whereby some 290,000 investors obtained compensation for the damage suffered, for a total amount of € 1.3 billion.

Most of the shareholders who had brought civil action had accepted this settlement and had therefore withdrawn their civil action request. About 150 of them, represented by Mr. Mischaël Modrikamen, had refused the agreement and demanded a referral to the criminal court. Me Modrikamen is now examining whether he will appeal the decision of the council chamber.

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