A few months ago, I have written a series of articles (starting with this and this one) regarding the legal battle of a Spanish entrepreneur in the construction industry, against Spanish and Dutch subsidiaries of SNS Reaal.
Jaafar Jalabi, and his company Parcelatoria Gonzalo Chacón, have been involved in an enduring battle against Procom Desarrollos Urbanos – a full subsidiary of formerly SNS Property Finance (hence: of SNS Reaal) and currently of Propertize BV, the stateowned, legal successor of SNS Property Finance – about the development and exploitation of a shopping mall in Valencia, which included a large snowdome.
During this process, which stretched for more than five years, PDU had filed four legal and one criminal lawsuit against PGC and Jaafar Jalabi personally. PDU deployed blatantly improper information during all these lawsuits and made statements, which could be considered as perjury. The involved Spanish judges shipwrecked all accusations by PDU/SNS PF and did so in about the strongest words possible.
|Mr. Jaafar Jalabi of Parcelatoria Gonzalo Chacón|
Picture by: Ernst Labruyère
Click to enlarge
Nevertheless, in spite of the favourable outcome of all legal cases, Jaafar Jalabi had suffered damages north of €7.5 million. Not only had the outstanding bill of €6.46 million not been paid by PDU for a number of years, but – as a consequence of this non-payment – a bank guarantee of PGC had been revoked. This revocation forced Jalabi to sell some of his property at about the most unfavourable time possible, in order to meet his bank covenants, which cost him additional money.
As initially SNS Reaal – as ‘parent company in chief’ – and later Propertize BV – owned by the holding company of all Dutch stateowned financials, NLFI BV – refused to revoke the lawsuits against him and compensate his damages, Jaafar Jalabi has now started a series of lawsuits against PDU and its legal representatives (i.e. Propertize BV, ultimately owned by the Dutch state).
Until yesterday, I had not heard from Jaafar for a few months, due to – in hindsight – the effects of a nasty accident. Fortunately, he responded to me with an email this Monday, of which I print the following snippets:
As for my lawsuits, I will here below describe what is going on.
[First ] I filed a criminal lawsuit against Mr Carlos Monreal, the Spanish ex managing director of PDU, for lying in his witness statement in both civil and criminal courts. He lied in order to benefit the present management of PDU when he testified that he did not know anything about the second agreement between PDU and PGC.
In the criminal case that PDU filed against me, the judge declared that Mr Monreal knew about the existence of the second agreement, as evidenced by the testimonies of several senior ex employees of PDU when the deal happened in March 2007. You might recall that the judgment of the criminal judge was in my favour and against PDU and PDU did not appeal that judgment so it is final. My lawsuit is already in trial.
In this trial Mr Monreal could take one of only 2 positions, the first is to continue lying where he would be in further trouble, or he could say that he lied because he was instructed by the present management of PDU, which is effectively dominated by Propertize B.V. (Previously SNS Property Finance), as part of a deal that they made with him to which we have some evidence.
[Second] I have filed a criminal lawsuit against PDU and against its legal representatives and that includes members of the board of PDU, two of which are representatives of Properties B.V.
The lawsuit specifies that PDU falsely raised a criminal lawsuit against me in order to delay the civil lawsuit, knowing before hand that the PDU criminal lawsuit against me was false. You might recall that the criminal judge dismissed the criminal case against me and gave me recourse to go against them, and PDU never appealed that judgment. I assume that the trial would start soon.
[ Third] Once the above mentioned 2 criminal lawsuits are underway, and I estimate that after the summer break, I will file a civil lawsuit for damages. I am now working with my financial analysts to fine tune the figures and I believe that it would be approximately what we talked about. Of course the party that has to eventually pay for it would be Propertize B.V.
Once I recover, I would visit you in Amsterdam.
I urge all interested readers to read all the previous episodes of this series and especially take a look at the Spanish process records and other evidence, which I enclosed in these earlier episodes. In spite of the involuntary radio silence, maintained by Jaafar Jalabi during the last three months, this case is far from over.
As PDU has been a full subsidiary of SNS Property Finance, as well as of SNS Reaal and its legal successors (Propertize B.V. and ultimately NLFI), during the timeframe in which these (legal) events took place, this is a legal case in which ultimately the Dutch government is involved.
Although the sheer amount of the suffered damages is quite small, for one of the largest financial conglomerates in The Netherlands, this case sheds an unfavourable light on the peculiar ways of doing business, that the subsidiaries of SNS Reaal maintained against their business partners in a.o. Spain.
This makes it very important that this particular case remains on everybody’s retina.