Inaki Urdangarin Scandal: Infanta Cristina officially named a suspect

Infanta Cristina – the younger daughter of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain – has officially been named a suspect in the corruption case of her husband, Inaki Urdangarin. She now has to testify at the courthouse in Palma de Mallorca on April 27.

Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca

Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca

Judge Jose Castro, who presides over the case, was quoted saying the Infanta was imputed as co-owner of Aizoon – a company that directly benefited from Inaki’s fraudulent actions. Interestingly, naming Cristina a suspect was the judge’s decision, and not a petition from the prosecution.

(more…)

Inaki Urdangarin Scandal: New evidence suggests Infanta Cristina might have known of illegal activities

The lawyers of Diego Torres, Inaki Urdangarin’s former partner and co-defendant in fraud case, have provided thirty new messages as evidence, some of which seem to suggest that Infanta Cristina was at the very least briefed on her husband’s activities.

One of the messages from Don Inaki to his wife alludes to “two versions” of reports and asks for her opinion. The Duke of Palma asks for Infanta Cristina’s opinion on various business-related issues in some of the other messages as well.

The Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca

The Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca

Cristina was a board member of Noos and part-owner of Aizoon both of which are involved in the corruption case. Although the judge presiding over the case has so far found no evidence of her involvement in anything illegal, it is highly unlikely she was completely unaware of her husband’s activities.

Other messages show the communication between the Duke of Palma and Carlos Garcia Revenga – the private secretary and confidant of the Infantas Elena and Cristina who was the treasurer of the Noos Foundation.

(more…)

Inaki Urdangarin Corruption Case: Will the Borbons survive?

General Details about the corruption scandal

As the Duke of Palma de Mallorca took part in the National Day on 12 October 2011, dashing and charming as always, few could have guessed that was his very last appearance in an official capacity as a member of the Spanish Royal Family, and that soon Inaki’s name will be on everyone’s lips for all the wrong reasons.

Less than a month later, on 7 November 2011, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor recorded Noos headquarters in Barcelona in connection with the ongoing “Palma Arena” corruption case. Specifically, they were looking into the dealings of The Noos Institute for the period of 2004-2006 – the time Urdangarin was its Executive President.

Inaki Urdangarin arriving for a court hearing

Inaki Urdangarin arriving for a court hearing

The news shocked Spain, especially as the true extent of the embezzlement and Inaki’s involvement were gradually made known; Spain was experiencing one of the worst financial crises in history and the revelation the King’s son-in-law has effectively stolen millions of public money enraged the public. At the early stages of the investigation, the Duke denied any wrongdoing and loudly maintained his innocence and resolution to defend his “honour”. Soon, however, new details emerged that forced even his most ardent supporters to doubt his word.

Newspapers released several suspicious budget documents for the period the Noos Institute was managed by Urdangarin. They appeared to show that Urdangarin convinced Spanish public administrations to sign agreements with the company (which was supposed to be a non-profit organisation anyway) for works that were never done. Works that were done were dramatically over-budgeted. Among other, the Noos Institute was given an enormous €2.3 million by the Balearic Islands’ regional government to organise two conferences on tourism and.  Once the contracts were obtained, Noos subcontracted the work to companies owned by Urdangarin and Torres.

(more…)