Spanish business executives embroiled in decade-long spy scandal – JURIST
Spain’s High Court accepted appeals to reopen formal investigations into President Antonio Brufau and former President Isidro Faine of Spain’s Repsol and Caixabank, respectively, on Monday.
Judge Manuel Garcia Castellon dismissed the investigations into Brufau, Faine, Repsol and Caixabank in July. Castellon was previously investigating Brufau and Faine for corruption links in relation to Repsol and Caixabanks’ alleged activities with the security firm. These successful appeals were brought before three different judges of the Spanish High Court by a prosecutor, former president of an infrastructure development company (Sacyr) and of the leftist Spanish political party (Podemos).
In January, Ignacio Galan, the chief executive of Iberdrola, a multinational electric utility company based in Spain, appeared before a judge in connection with the same espionage allegations. The parties have previously denied any wrongdoing and have agreed to cooperate with the courts.
The former and current leaders are under investigation following allegations that in 2011 and 2012 they hired the security firm of former Spanish national police chief Jose Manuel Villarejo to to spy on the former president of Sacyr, Luis del Rivero. At the time, Repsol was partly owned by Caixabank. The alleged purpose of this espionage was to block a takeover bid for Repsol by Sacyr and the Mexican state oil company Pemex.
These formal investigations do not necessarily lead to an indictment, as an investigation is only the first phase of a Spanish judicial investigation.
Spanish authorities have been targeting the notorious Villarejo and his business activities for years because they allegedly damaged the reputation of the Spanish business sector. Although Villarejo has faced numerous criminal trials in the past on charges ranging from money laundering to bribery and corruption, these investigations are part of a larger investigation that targets Villarejo and his connections. commercial. Villarejo’s activities rocked the Spanish political establishment as they involved a number of Spanish elites, such as former Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy and King Juan Carlos.