Sánchez Galán: Iberdrola charges the judge in the ‘Villarejo case’ after its merger in the US was frustrated | Economy


Ignacio Sánchez Galán, president of Iberdrola.
Ignacio Sánchez Galán, president of Iberdrola.

Iberdrola goes on the attack after the New Mexico regulator has rejected the merger of its US subsidiary with PNM for its involvement in the Villarejo case. The company has presented this Friday a document in the National Court to urge the investigating judge to advance the investigation, which has been accused since June of its president, Ignacio Sánchez Galán. In the document, the electrical charges against the magistrate – whom he accuses of crossing all “imaginable lines” -, denounces the “reputational damage” that these investigations generate and affirms that this is demonstrated by the frustrated operation in the United States.

“The New Mexico Public Utilities Commission has denied the acquisition operation as a consequence of the reputation of the Spanish company,” Iberdrola insists in its letter, to which EL PAÍS has had access. “The decision has been strongly influenced by the existence of the current criminal investigation. Proof of this is that, at the time of casting their vote, four of the five commissioners expressly mentioned the investigation carried out in Spain as a reason for rejecting the operation, making harsh demonstrations against the company “, details the energy company, which values in 8,000 million dollars (more than 7,000 million euros) the frustrated acquisition of PNM. In addition, he emphasizes: “These damages are joined by the irremediable fall in the stock market of Iberdrola’s shares.”

The judge of Villarejo case, Manuel García-Castellón, maintains a line of investigation on the hiring of commissioner José Manuel Villarejo by the electricity company. According to the investigation, the assignments lasted from 2004 to 2017 and included access to confidential databases.

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Instruction focuses on at least five projects: Arrow, which aimed to eliminate municipal and environmental opposition to the construction of a power station 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; Gipsy, to investigate internal managers on suspicion that they were charging illegal commissions; 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; Y Wind, “Focused on the investigation of the Swiss company Eólica Dobrogea and its majority shareholder Christopher Kaap, with whom Iberdrola Renovables Energía SA had partnered to develop projects in Romania”.

Iberdrola defends its innocence and that of its current president. In addition, it charges against José Antonio del Olmo, who served as director of control of corporate functions within the company and who, according to the instructor, communicated to his superiors in 2004 “various irregularities that presented the work of the project Arrow”. To guard his backs, Del Olmo then came to deposit a report in a notary’s office, which is incorporated into the summary and which points to the leadership of the energy company. The judge relied on that document to impute Galán and climb the chain of command. But the electricity company claims that its content is false and denounced its former director for it. The company accuses the judge of not wanting to inquire about this point.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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