SIENA, Italy, July 2 Banco Santander
chairman Emilio Botin is set to be questioned as a witness to
alleged fraud and corruption at Tuscan lender Banca Monte dei
Paschi di Siena (MPS) on Wednesday, sources close the
Siena public prosecutor Antonio Nastasi, who is leading the
investigation, left Siena for Madrid this morning, the sources
said on Tuesday, after a special request to question him there
Banco Santander declined to comment.
The Siena prosecutors are investigating Monte dei Paschi's
acquisition of smaller rival Antonveneta from Santander in 2007.
Botin's questioning as a witness - one of the last steps
before the main part of the investigation closes in mid-July -
was scheduled for January in Siena, but Botin could not attend.
Botin has not been charged with any crime.
Apart from Botin, prosecutors have only one more witness to
question before they close the investigation.
(Reporting by Siliva Ognibene and Julien Toyer; Writing by
Jennifer Clark; Editing by Louise Ireland)