Iberdrola Renovables under investigation by Spanish court in alleged spying case

MADRID, July 9 (Reuters) - Iberdrola Renovables was placed under formal investigation by Spain's High Court on Friday as part of a probe into a decade-long alleged spying case, a court document showed.

Iberdrola Renovables is a previously listed unit of Spanish utility Iberdrola (IBE.MC) that was folded into the parent company in 2011.

Judge Manuel Garcia Castellon will investigate whether the company committed bribery by hiring ex police chief Jose Manuel Villarejo to allegedly spy on Swiss company Eolica Dobrogea, which had allied with Ibedrola for projects in Romania.

An Iberdrola spokesperson said the company would cooperate fully with the investigation and does not believe any wrongdoing occurred.

He added that the scope of the investigation was limited to a 25,000 euro invoice paid in February 2012, and that the investigating judge had already ruled out any illegality in the processing of that invoice.

Villarejo's lawyer did not return messages seeking comment.

The investigation is part of a wider inquiry, with Villarejo at the centre, that has roiled Spain's corporate sector, causing some reputational damage, but with no clear impact on businesses so far.

On Thursday Castellon placed energy company Repsol (REP.MC) and lender Caixabank (CABK.MC) under investigation as part of a separate strand of the Villarejo case. read more

Iberdrola CEO Ignacio Galan was also put under investigation in a process related to the case.

Under the Spanish judicial system, no formal charges can be brought until the first phase of investigation is over. Being under investigation does not necessarily mean there will be a formal indictment.

Reporting by Inti Landauro, additional reporting by Isla Binnie; editing by Nathan Allen and David Evans

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