The Second Section of the Criminal Chamber of the National Court has acquitted the former president of the General Society of Authors of Spain (SGAE) Eduardo “Teddy” Bautista, José Luis Rodríguez Neri and eight other defendants for the alleged diversion of funds from the entity, on understanding that its hiring decisions were endorsed by the company and had an impact on a benefit for it. In fact, the SGAE did not even prosecute.
In a 178-page sentence notified this Wednesday and for which Judge Fernando Andreu has been rapporteur, the court concludes that It has not been proven that the defendants, with Bautista at the helm, acted outside the social bodies of the entity, but they complied with and executed the agreements adopted by those and in particular, in the contracts subject to the lawsuit: the Teseo and Portal Latino projects and the agreements with SDAE or Microgénesis.
For the court, in view of the evidence, “it has been proven that each and every one of the hiring decisions made between the SGAE and the SDAE and between the latter and Microgénesis were known, adopted and approved by the management bodies of both companies, with prior and full knowledge of the contracting conditions, with the annual budgetary approval in charge of the budgets of the SGAE, who was the last beneficiary of the contracted products ”.
Consider that those «Products were absolutely essential for proper operation of the SGAE in order to comply with its social purposes, for the management of copyrights, and the remuneration of the same to the partners, given the exponential growth that the reproduction of works in digital media was happening in those years , which required, inexorably, the creation of appropriate programs for the management of such copyright.
It also concludes that in its function of promoting the repertoire of members the creation of portals or web pages was also “absolutely necessary” to make such works known, especially with respect to lesser-known authors, as well as training in the new programs for the personnel who were to use them, the SGAE staff themselves.
Justified contracts and services provided
In short, he understands that the hiring was justified and also that it has been proven that the work «Were carried out, developed and implemented in the SGAE, and in fact to this day they continue to be used by said entity, as stated and stated by the governing bodies of the Company, who have expressly declared that in their opinion no damage has been caused to the company “.
This reasoning is key to Bautista’s acquittal for misappropriation, a criminal type that requires proving that the defendant has made the funds entrusted to him his own or that he has used them differently than intended.
In the case of the one who was president of the SGAE, not only has it not been proven that there was such a deviation, but the money was used «For the acquisition and payment of the agreed services», Teseo and Portal Latino, which “were really and effectively loaned at the usual market prices” and which the Company used “for the benefit of its associates.”
In this sense, it points out that both the misappropriation and the unfair administration by which the Prosecutor’s Office accused require the existence of damage to a third party that has not been proven here. «In the present case, this Court does not appreciate any harm to the SGAE, criminally reprehensible, derived from the contractual operations examined “, says the sentence. Remember that the Company withdrew its accusation both criminally and civilly.
And adds: «If there is no harm, there is no crime. And in the present case, it is not only that no harm derived from the actions of the defendants towards the SGAE has been proven, but it is the SGAE itself that is not considered harmed and decides to withdraw from the exercise of criminal and civil actions in these proceedings. ‘
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism