The judge of the Manuel National High Court García Castellón has rejected the request of the president of Iberdrola, Ignacio Sánchez Galán, to testify by videoconference next Tuesday, January 18, in the investigation of the alleged commissions to commissioner José Manuel Villarejo, understanding that in the documents presented “there is no appreciates the concurrence of assumptions of utility for the cause that justify the declaration in the way that interests that guarantee its effectiveness and validity”.
In an order, the judge dismisses the request to testify by telematic means of Sánchez Galán and director Rafael Orbegozo, who had based their request on the health situation as a result of the Covid infections. Sánchez Galán is summoned next Tuesday 18 at 10:30 a.m. and before that, at 10:00 a.m., the director Fernando Becker Zuazua.
In addition, the day before, Monday, January 17, directors Francisco Martínez Corcoles (10 am) and Rafael Orbegozo (10:30 am) will be questioned. The four must appear as investigated in piece 17 of the so-called Tandem Case for crimes of active bribery, crime against privacy and falsity in commercial documents.
The judge’s resolution recalls the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Law and the Organic Law of the Judiciary for court appearances and points out that the videoconference is configured as a subsidiary option with respect to the main route, which is the face-to-face statement. The videoconference, explains the order, must always be for reasons of utility or convenience for the cause, as established by the Supreme Court.
“Based on the necessary protection of the right to defense of those under investigation José Ignacio Sánchez Galán and Rafael Orbegozo Guzmán and assessing the necessary protection of the right to a process with all guarantees, the person who signs this resolution does not identify the arguments put forward by the representation of those Substantial reasons that, from the usefulness for the cause, justify that the statement be made by videoconference,” he stresses.
It is not reasoned, adds the instructor, what interest of utility or convenience for the cause can present the declaration in the exposed terms nor is it alluded to reasons of public order or security as a basis, but only generic references are made to the health situation.
In addition, according to the magistrate, in the event that it was intended to make the statement from the home of the investigated, this would prevent the validity of the act. In this sense, he indicates, “the importance that the need to ensure the effective enjoyment of their rights in ideal conditions for its exercise, since the validity of the procedure will essentially depend on it”.
García Castellón concludes that in the briefs presented, the concurrence of assumptions of utility for the cause that justify the declaration in the way that is interested in conditions that guarantee its effectiveness and validity is not appreciated, in the face of all of which the request made by the procedural representations of José Ignacio Sánchez Galán and Rafael Orbegozo Guzmán.
Finally, the judge recalls that the possibility that any of those investigated could allege personal health reasons or other reasons of public order to justify their non-appearance is always safe, if for example they were sick, or suffered some impossibility or mishap. In that case, he clarifies, if the petition is processed, the opportunity to make the statement by videoconference would be valued, in conditions that guarantee the safeguarding of the right of defense.