García Castellón has kept the president of Iberdrola imputed for a year and after a recent order from the Criminal Chamber, and despite the evidence found, he is forced to close the procedure
On the exact day of his indictment in the ‘Villarejo case’, the judge of the National High Court Manuel García Castellón has agreed to put an end to the judicial ordeal of the president of Iberdrola Ignacio Sánchez Galán, investigated for the security and espionage signed by the company with the company of the commissioner today retired, valued at 1.04 million euros.
After twelve months of harsh reproaches in his writings and a harsh confrontation between the judge and the investigator, García Castelón has lifted Galán’s accusation in a ten-page order in which he concludes that the crimes attributed to him -active bribery, against privacy and false documentation – are prescribed and, therefore, the alleged criminal liability has been extinguished.
The head of the Central Court of Instruction number six has thus estimated the request of the defense of the president of the energy company. It details that his status as an investigator is linked to the security projects Arrow (executed between 2004 and 2006), Black Board or BB (years 2004 and 2005) and the Gipsy and Posy Projects (2009), when he first served as vice president and CEO of Iberdrola and later, since 2006, as president of the main Ibex-35 company by market capitalization.
In other words, at least 12 years have passed since this espionage work contracted to Cenyt, the Villarejo company, was carried out, until the criminal case against Galán was opened in June 2021.
The judge has based the file on an order from the Third Section of the Criminal Chamber, issued on June 3, in which the three magistrates resolved the appeal of another investigated for crimes of active bribery, against privacy and continued falsehood in a commercial document due to events that took place until March 2009.
In that resolution, regarding the former chief of staff of the president, Rafael Orbegozo, the Chamber indicated that “it is evident that the only fact attributed to the investigated person would be prescribed in accordance with articles 130.6 and 131 and 132.1 of the Penal Code, since more than ten years between March 2009 and June 23, 2021, which is when the procedure was opened”. Therefore, the Chamber agreed to the statute of limitations as an extinctive circumstance of responsibility and the free dismissal for Orbegozo.
Entanglements and reputational damage
With this precedent, the judge now considers with respect to Galán that “the forcefulness of this resolution leaves no room for action for this instructor, who had repeatedly dismissed the requests for dismissal and filing made by the person under investigation in different resolutions, the last of them last March,” he explains.
In that car, García Castellón decided to continue the case against the head of Iberdrola because, in his opinion, he was aware of the contracts with Villarejo. He did it after Galán accused him of generating a “serious damage” to his legal and reputational character, of creating “entanglements” in the investigation and ignoring the cause.
García Castellón now indicates, moreover, that the participation of the person under investigation would include a period of time that would last until the year 2009, for which reason, taking into account the “literal tenor” of the order of the superior instance, “we must verify that more than ten years have elapsed between the date in which the last imputed act was committed and the date of his summons as investigated”.
“It can be concluded according to the transcribed arguments that the imputed crimes would be prescribed, so there would be no other option but to declare the presence of this extinct circumstance of responsibility and, with it, decree the free dismissal”, concludes the magistrate.
In the same order and with the same argument, the magistrate also agrees to dismiss two other investigated directors: José Luis San Pedro, former number two of Iberdrola, and Juan Carlos Rebollo regarding the crime of bribery, although for that of coercion In relation to the complaint by the former director of Iberdrola, José Antonio del Olmo, agrees to refer the case to a court in Bilbao for not being competent to investigate these facts.
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