Banco Santander SA Chief Executive Officer Alfredo Saenz was found guilty of making false accusations in a case stemming from his tenure as chairman of Banco Espanol de Credito SA in 1994.

Banco Espanol de Credito, known as Banesto, will appeal the decision, which is not definitive, the retail banking unit of Santander said Monday in an e-mailed statement. The Barcelona Provincial Court sentenced Saenz and two other Banesto executives to six months in jail, the news wire Efe reported, citing the court's ruling.

A spokeswoman for Santander declined to comment on the court decision. Bloomberg News' calls to the court were not answered.

The case concerned Banesto's efforts in 1994 to recover loans, Banesto said. During the proceedings, Banesto sued for fraud, prompting countercomplaints of false accusation, Banesto said. Those have been repeatedly thrown out by different courts, Banesto said.

Spanish banking rules disqualify people who have been convicted of a crime from running banks.

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