The Villarejo case puts the dome of the Ibex 35 back in the spotlight. The investigating judge, Manuel García-Castellón, has decided to impute the president of Iberdrola, Ignacio Sánchez Galán, and three of his directors (Fernando Becker, Francisco Martínez Córcoles and Rafael Orbegozo) for the alleged espionage orders contracted by the company with the commissioner retired José Manuel Villarejo, the epicenter of one of the largest macro-plots of corruption in the recent history of Spain. The magistrate, who takes this measure after receiving the request of the Prosecutor’s Office, thus expands the list of senior executives who have paraded through the National Court, after the president of Repsol, Antonio Brufau, also declared as being investigated; the former president of Caixabank, Isidro Fainé; and the former president of BBVA, Francisco González.
Throughout a 23-page order, dated this Tuesday, García-Castellón lists the multiple indications that accumulate in the summary against the leadership of the Spanish company. Among others, the judge emphasizes that they have found in Iberdrola’s accounting up to 15 invoices without request, issued and paid for a total of 1.04 million euros to the Cenyt group, Villarejo’s corporate plot. “They would be, then, services provided by the [comisario] when he was on active duty in the Police ”, says the instructor, who insists that the concepts of the invoices were“ manipulated ”to hide the true purpose of the work. In addition, the magistrate adds, Sánchez Galán had “exclusive knowledge” of everything.
According to the investigation, Iberdrola’s assignments lasted from 2004 to 2017 and had a “confidential nature” for the company. The instruction has detected, at least, three supposed hires: the project Arrow, whose objective was to eliminate municipal opposition and environmentalists in the construction of a power plant in Arcos de la Frontera (Cádiz); Black Board, to obtain compromising information on Manuel Pizarro, president at the time of Endesa, his great rival in the electricity sector; Y Posy, the espionage of Florentino Pérez, president of ACS and Real Madrid, to avoid the assault by the construction company on the board of directors of the electricity company in 2009.
“The orders and commercial relations were not sporadic or specific, but had continuity over time,” emphasizes Judge Manuel García-Castellón in his decision this Tuesday, where he charges Sánchez Galán and his three directors with the alleged crimes of active bribery , against privacy and falsehood in commercial document.
The accusation of Galán, president of the company since 2006, comes after a tense month for the company, which has remained expectant before the latest movements that took place in the courts. Everything accelerated on May 12, when the Internal Affairs Unit (UAI) of the Police sent a new report to the judge detailing the discovery of nine audios of conversations between Villarejo and the former head of Iberdrola Security, Antonio Asenjo, accused in the case and designated as the interlocutor of the company with the plot. In these recordings, the retired commissioner is heard demanding more money for his work and, at various times, they refer to Galán as a connoisseur of the orders.
After being then on the verge of the summons, the president of Iberdrola chose to move tab and try to take the lead. On May 25, the utility sent a statement to the National Securities Market Commission (CNMV) to inform that Sánchez Galán had made himself available to the judge to testify if he considered it necessary. But his offer fell on deaf ears. García-Castellón has not charged him until he had the request of the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor on the table. The request of the public prosecutor arrived on Tuesday and, just that same day, the magistrate signed the car where he called him to testify as being investigated.