Iñaki Urdangarin, Duke of Palma, Received 170% Profit for Public Forums He Hosted

Iñaki Urdangarin

Iñaki Urdangarin, Duke of Palma, Received 170% Profit for Public Forums He Hosted
Non-profit Nóos Institute’s revenue amounted to 10 million euros over five years
El País: Urdangarin logró beneficios del 170% sobre los costes de los foros
Andreu Manresa and Jesús García reporting from Palma de Mallorca and Barcelona, respectively, November 11, 2011

The Duke of Palma, Iñaki Urdangarin, husband of Princess Cristina of Bourbon and son-in-law of the King of Spain, charged fees for organizing sports forums which netted a 170% profit over the actual cost of this service to his organization, the Nóos Institute in Palma. These costs were defrayed by the Balearic Islands government (and by other patrons). The average cost of a forum was €1.1 million for two weeks of sessions, according to open judicial investigations; investigators have assessed the actual cost of each forum was close to half a million euros.

Urdangarin drove business and confracts for Nóos, legally a non-profit organization, and signed bills in the name of Nóos Consultancy and Aizoon real estate agency, whose property he shares with his wife, Princess Cristina of Bourbon. At least €275,000 went to Aizoon in two payments for one of the forums in Palma. The item in the “first bill” was “logistics management”. The Anti-Corruption Division of the Public Attorney’s Office has detected one million euros that were sunk into unjustified items in the bills for the forums. This is the basis for its accusation of misuse of public funds.

The initial evaluation of the profits cited as coming from private activities of Iñaki Urdangarin (and in parallel his partner at Nóos, Diego Torres) consists of different reports passed to the judge and the public attorney by the police unit for Economic Delinquency and the experts at Housing, which have examined the accounting and the numerical traffic between the groups.

The total revenue for Nóos over five years rounded to €10 million, according to accounting of the complex framework of organized consultancies and businesses which has been examined during Operation Babel. Investigators have identified a document signed for the group which transferred close to half a million euros to an account for the society in a tax haven.

This case, a part of the Palma Arena scandal centered on the supposed enrichment of former Balearic Islands President Jaume Matas of the Popular Party through corrupt governance, is based on a supposed misuse of public funds, fraud of the presidential administration, and falsehood.

Urdangarin’s right hand man at Nóos, Diego Torres, has been implicated regarding the expenditure of €2.3 million for the two Forum Illes Balears in 2005 and 2006 respectively, as have three other administrators of the organization: Miguel, Ana, and Marco Tejeiro.

The investigators consider it “logical and inevitable” that the son-in-law of the king will be subpoenaed to speak about the acts in question. The public attorney against corruption, Pedro Horrach, after months of investigations along with Judge José Castro, has worked for three days this week in the Barcelona registry offices and the headquarters of Nóos and on interrogations.

Diego Torres’s lawyer, Manuel González Peeters, claims that the registries are “totally invalid” as archives of the events. His appeal points out that the judge asked for the contracts signed by the Nóos Institute and the Balearic government 14 months afterward. Torres, serving as a witness, provided a total of 384 documents related to the affair, which in the end “were the basis of the argument for his imputation” and “constructed this case”. Torres was trying to justify the programs executed with public funds, but after analyzing his contributions, the judge cited them to impute him instead. “That is to say, the judge used documents this person provided the judge while he was not accused as basis to accuse that selfsame person,” reasons the appeal.

Besides that, the lawyer of Jaume Matas – who is not implicated in this case, which is segregated from the Palma Arena Case – has asked that the affair pass to the National Court because the actions in questions took place across different autonomous communities (provinces).

Explore posts in the same categories: Law, Spain, Translations

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