EDP bosses stump up €2 million bail
The CEO of EDP, António Mexia and CEO of EDP Renováveis, Manso Neto have paid up the €2 million in bail required by super Judge Carlos Alexandre to keep them out of jail.
The two top brass at Portugal’s multinational electricity giant, who are currently suspended from their posts, stand accused to manipulating the market by charging excessive rental fees which harmed both consumers and the Portuguese State.
Furthermore, the prosecution alleges that EDP sponsorship was offered to Columbia State University in exchange for hiring former Minister of the Economy, Manuel Pinho as a lecturer as a return favour for favours allegedly granted by the minister and linked to EDP when he was in government.
The top administrator of power distribution network company REN, João Conceição who is also a defendant in the same case, has paid bail of €500,000 guaranteed by Abanca.
The two main defendants, António Mexia and Manso Neto are accused of crimes of corruption and economic participation in business in the case of EDP’s excessive rent charges.
But the legal team representing the defendants claim the allegations are “fictional” arguing that changes in legislation and contracts that were said to have taken place in 2007, were actually decided in 2004.
In addition their lawyers argue that an amendment to energy purchase contracts (CAE) and to the costs of maintaining contractual balance (CMEC) and to the public water domain (DPH), ended up benefiting consumers and the Portuguese State by €750 million euros rather than prejudicing them.
As to corruption charges against former Minister of the Economy, Manuel Pinho, the defence lawyers argue that he had no unfair or illicit support and that the lack of connection between the former Minister of Economy, EDP and the two CEOs is “patently obvious”.
They claim to have had no influence on the appointment of Manuel Pinho to a plum university job at Columbia University in the United States and guarantee that the granting of EDP sponsorship to the university was “not conditional on hiring anyone”.
For the lawyers of the presidents of EDP and EDP Renováveis, the Public Prosecutor’s Office made an “unfair” interpretation of the evidence in an attempt to demonstrate the benefit granted to the company by Manuel Pinho as Minister of Economy.
On the contrary, however, the public prosecutors claim that it is alleged that EDP was clearly harmed, denying the argument that there was an overcompensation of €1.2Bn from the transition from PPAs to the CMEC which supposedly benefited the State and consumers.