June 20, 2024

Pinko downplays his responsibility at Cigna

The long-delayed appearance of René Benkou at the parliamentary investigative committee provided some new ideas. Benko made his decision largely by citing countless actions against him and the largely bankrupt group of companies. He tried to shift the responsibility to Signa.

The founder of the struggling Cigna conglomerate – the largest bankruptcy in Austria’s history – was clearly keen to show that he did not hold an “actual management position” at Cigna. This became clear, for example, when he was asked about the possibility of a state visit as a VIP alongside former advisor to Austrian Deputy Prime Minister Sebastian Kurz in 2017.

Rene Benco (left) with his lawyer Norbert Weiss.Image: Cornerstone

Indication of ongoing actions

Benko referred to “extensive procedures with Abu Dhabi, including arbitration procedures in which a complaint was filed against me, even though I am not and have not been the CEO of Cigna Holding.” There are also formalities regarding the “actual managing directors”, which also plays a role in the numerous bankruptcies in the overthrown Banco empire. Attempts are being made to “assume it” before him – with far-fetched arguments. Benko said there were also arbitration procedures with an investor from Qatar.

“They know a lot about the procedures, even though they are not the actual managing director,” Green politician Nina Tomaselli said. Benko: “I am personally the defendant in these proceedings, which amount to hundreds of millions of euros, and therefore these issues are also dealt with in detail.”

In his opening remarks, which were just a few sentences long, the Cigna founder, dressed in a dark suit, white shirt and gray tie, made it clear that he would only answer a few questions. Benko repeatedly justified this with numerous investigations against him in matters of criminal and civil law. He “could not see” where there was deniability and where there was not. The subcommittee was chaired by the third President of the National Council, Norbert Hofer (FPÖ).

See also  Incident in the Coral Sea: Sharks attack a raft - Three men are saved from their ordeal

There were constant interruptions. Often, Benko could not remember exactly or at all, or seek advice from his lawyer again.

Signa is not directly the subject of the investigation

Trial Judge Christa Edwards first addressed deputies directly. She noted that questions about Cigna’s bankruptcy do not fall within the investigation period, “even if there is great media interest.”

The politicians they interviewed wanted to know much about political networks beyond those linking Kurz. Former SPÖ Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer was important here. Not only was he chairman of the supervisory board of one of Cigna’s most important companies, he was also a multi-million dollar consultant to Cigna.

When asked about the details, Benko said several times that you should have asked Gusenbauer or Kurz about that. But neither of them was a member of the U Committee – Gusenbauer did not come, and Kurz was not invited. Benko also often refers to the “responsible directors” of the Signa Group; There were about 50 people who had to make decisions in companies.

Operational responsibility declined

Benko emphasized that he served “only” on the advisory board of Signa (Signa Holding, note). Benko had handed over his presidency there to German restructuring expert Arndt Goetz when the latest rescue attempts were underway last November. “Benko has taken matters into his own hands,” NEOS politician Yannick Chetty recalled a statement made by Signa investor Hans-Peter Haselsteiner in an interview last fall.

As the U Committee’s day progressed past three hours of pure questioning, Benko appeared to become less patient and increasingly question the deputies’ questions and the judge’s assessments. He also avoided questions about Abu Dhabi, tax issues, the Chalet-Inn hotel or Pinko’s luxury private residence in relation to pending tax proceedings – and other topics raised by politicians, which included ongoing legal debates that led to interruptions. (HCL/SDA/UP/APA)

See also  Two dead in a heap crowded in Italy

You may also be interested in:

Entrepreneur Yael Mayer and her company Zeam explained to the Swiss Army what defines “Generation Z.” The cost of this campaign was 44 thousand francs, and was paid for by taxpayers’ money.

Young Swiss men around the age of 20 are required to do military service (or civil service) – currently “Generation Z”. In order to better understand the current target group, the Swiss Army commissioned influencer Yael Mayer to work with her company. This is what the magazine reported.K-Tip».