MADRID Nov 29 Spanish billionaire and former
finance minister Juan Miguel Villar Mir will face questioning by
a judge over alleged irregularities in the award of a hospital
construction contract to his real estate conglomerate, a court
said on Tuesday.
Prosecutors allege that Grupo Villar Mir (GVM), the private
holding that the 85-year-old industrialist has spent the past 30
years building up, won the contract in 2006 by rigging the
auction. Villar Mir has always denied any wrongdoing.
GVM owns a majority stake in Spanish builder OHL.
After the allegations first surfaced in 2006, the contract worth
600 million euros ($638.46 million) was handed to a subsidiary
of another Madrid-listed builder, ACS.
Reuters could not immediately reach Villar Mir, an
influential business leader who sits on the board of Spain's
biggest bank Santander.
He will be questioned on Jan. 9 via video link along with
six other people involved in the tender to build the Son Espases
hospital on the island of Mallorca, Judge Jose Castro wrote in a
Villar Mir and his family have the fifth-biggest fortune in
Spain, valued at $3.1 billion according to Forbes. Villar Mir
passed on the chairmanship of OHL to his son in July.
($1 = 0.9398 euros)
(Reporting by Rodrigo Miguel; Writing by Angus Berwick; Editing
by Richard Lough)