Communiqué made by OHL on Móstoles-Navalcarnero

January 28, 2021

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In view of the news published this morning by a national newspaper rendering account of the initiative apparently undertaken by Madrid Regional Government -and, in particular, by its Transport Department, of which Ángel Garrido is Regional Minister -, to avoid paying to OHL the investments made under the contract for the construction and subsequent operation of the railway to join Móstoles Central and Navalcarnero, OHL would like to make the following public statement:

1. According to the news published by the media, quoting sources of the Madrid Regional Transport Department, they are attempting to allege the existence of a criminal proceeding that must be concluded before other proceedings may be commenced, in the single court proceeding pending a judgment before the Judicial Review Court of the Higher Court of Justice of Madrid which refers, precisely, to the monetary claim filed by CEMONASA -the awardee of the contract – against Madrid Regional Government for the investments made under the contract. The criminal proceeding to be concluded in advance, always according to the published news, would be the “Lezo case” pending before the National Court of Appeals.

2. The “Lezo case” commenced in 2016. In 2017, Madrid Regional Government, then presided over by Cristina Cifuentes (whose Government team then included the current regional Minister for Transport, Ángel Garrido), designed a legal stratagem seeking to claim from OHL over three hundred million euros for purported breach of the contract. The amount is surprisingly very similar to that claimed by CEMONASA from the regional government. This strategem was stumped by the Madrid Higher Court of Justice two weeks ago. Thus, for more than three years, Madrid Regional Government has enforced a claim before the Courts based on the contract which it now doubts, although it has not in all this time raised any exception for a pending criminal proceeding. It is only now that its stratagem has been declared illegal by the Courts, leaving it exposed to the monetary claim filed by CEMONASA, that it is considering a litigation “scheme” such as that it now announces, lacking any grounds and obviously fraudulent.

3. OHL has not been accused in the “Lezo case” and nobody has questioned the legal correction of the award of the train contract to its subsidiary, CEMONASA. Quite the contrary, as is publicly known, two expert reports are on record in the criminal proceeding that support the correction of the award process.

4. The contract is terminated by operation of the Law. This has been repeatedly declared by the Courts. CEMONASA intends to have Madrid Regional Government pay the investments actually made under the contract, a lawful claim absolutely unrelated to the criminal proceeding conducted before the National Court of Appeals. Indeed, the Regional Administration itself acknowledged in documentary form at the time the existence of such investments, in an amount over one hundred million euros.

5. The breach by Madrid Regional Government of its contractual and payment obligations gave rise to the insolvency of CEMONASA. The issue is thus to recover the expenses incurred and avoid even greater damage to a company with more than 22,000 employees and many shareholders.

6. The published news, quoting sources of the Madrid Regional Transport Department, states that the regional Government “will make no payment until a final judgment has been given in the Lezo case”.

This implies not only deeming the Courts to have admitted their current strategy consisting of staying any claim against Madrid Regional Government until a decision has been rendered in the criminal action but also relaxing the principle of due respect to the impartiality of the courts and their decision-making process. If respect to such principle may be demanded from both undertakings and private parties, it may be demanded with even greater reason, if possible, from public servants.

Madrid Regional Government and its Regional Minister for Transport should abide by the decisions adopted by the Courts, as OHL will also do, without deeming their content to be known or attempting to predetermine them. Should their current notion not be successful, they should naturally abide by the eventual judgment that may be given against them, as they have had to abide by all the judgments given in this case, in none of which they have prevailed to date, and which on their own terms render good account of the fact that it has not been precisely OHL or its subsidiaries that have proceeded unlawfully.

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