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Spanish court puts Iberdrola CEO under investigation in alleged spying case

Spain’s High Court on Wednesday placed Iberdrola (IBE.MC) Chief Executive and Chairman Ignacio Sanchez Galan under investigation as part of a probe into an alleged spying case dating back to 2004-2017, a court document showed.

The court will investigate Galan’s connections with the hiring of former police chief Jose Manuel Villarejo, who was released from jail in March after three years of pre-trial detention in a separate case based on allegations of money laundering and bribing public officials.

The decision by judge Manuel Garcia Castellon means Galan and three other Iberdrola executives will be investigated for alleged bribery, breach of privacy and fraud in commercial documents.

Iberdrola on Wednesday said Galan and the three executives had done nothing wrong and that the company and its executives were open to cooperating with judicial authorities.

In Spain, being placed under investigation does not necessarily lead to indictment. No formal charges can be brought against anyone until the first phase of an investigation has been completed.

Spain’s second largest company and a world leader in wind power, Iberdrola has previously said it hired Villarejo’s security company Cenyt from 2004-2009 and 2012-2017, making payments detailed in a total of 17 invoices.

In May, Iberdrola said it had conducted three internal investigations and had found no evidence of breaches of its internal codes of conduct. It said allegations against its executives had caused a “significant reputational damage”.