Bribery and embezzlement charges in wind bids

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Following charges of bribery and embezzlement in an open invitation for bids for wind project development, magistrates have clamped the Canary Island's former energy director general, Celso Perdomo, and his girlfriend, Monica Quintanta, behind bars along with a regional government employee. The prison order, without bail, comes as a preventative measure, pending a verdict from the ongoing trial. Five other people arrested in connection with the case have been given suspended "preventative" sentences, with bail. Perdomo is accused of providing privileged information to a local wind project developer, Siemenca, prior to issuing 2004's public call for proposals to develop 344 MW on the islands. Police received permission to tap energy directorate telephones and subsequently pressed charges. National daily newspaper El País says bribes received "could be in the order of EUR 30,000." The regional government -- a four cornered coalition involving Perdomo's Partido Popular, the chief national opposition party -- has opened a special commission to investigate political responsibilities.

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