Inaki Lopez is not the man he used to be.
Lopez was back in a Spanish court in May, where doctors could not agree whether the former General Motors executive was fit to stand trial in the United States on fraud and industrial espionage charges. His appearance prompted the European press to describe Lopez as a man who has lost his passion.
For one thing, he is no longer the fit and trim man many remember. 'My wife makes a damn good paella with cod,' Lopez told the judge. Lopez, who once was quoted as saying, 'I never go on holiday; work is the best vacation,' also told the judge, 'I can't work anymore, and that's why I've retired.'
The U.S. Justice Department has been battling for more than a year to extradite Lopez from Spain to answer charges of industrial espionage. Lopez - who gained an international reputation for cutting costs - is accused of stealing confidential data from GM when he joined Volkswagen nine years ago.
Three years ago, Lopez was badly injured in a car wreck. A psychiatrist said Lopez suffered personality changes and is prone to filling memory lapses with imagined experiences. But Dr. Charles Clark, who examined Lopez for the Justice Department, disagreed. Lopez, 60, testified he should not be extradited. 'The doctors,' he said, 'say I'm not well.'