There have been whispers about Urdangarín’s business dealings for years but until now nothing was published in the mainstream press.
The former autonomous government of the Balearic Islands has been under investigation for a case of embezzlement of public funds called the Palma Arena case since 2008, and in the last months, the rumours and accusations surrounding the Nóos Institute, of which Iñaki Urdangarín was president, have been growing steadily, until last Monday, when a judge ordered the search of the Institute headquarters and offices in Barcelona and Palma de Mallorca. The judge in charge of the case and the anti-corruption district attorney’s office of Palma de Mallorca believe Urdangarín, his business partner Diego Torres and three relatives(including Torres wife) used the Institute to receive public and private funds for nonexistent or over-charged services. One of the main lines of the investigation are the 2,3 million euros the Institute received from the Balearic Government to organise a sports forum in 2004 and 2005. The Duke of Palma was president of the Nóos Institute, a Foundation dedicated to sports, until 2006. The anti-corruption district attorney’s office is investigating Iñaki Urdangarín’s involvement in the Institute for alleged misuse of public funds, corruption, fraud and falsified documentation during the years 2005 and 2006.
For now, Infanta Cristina’s husband has not been formally accused of anything. However, his partner Diego Torres is indicted and spent the evening giving his statement in a police station. This early afternoon, sources working on the investigation, declared that the unexplained millions euros the Nóos Institute received from the former Balearic Government under investigation on the Palma Arena case made charging Iñaki Urdangarín and having him explain before a judge the irregularities in the Institute’s accounts unavoidable.
UPDATE: According to the “El Mundo” newspaper, the Attorney’s Office has said that for now, Iñaki Urdangarín will not be formally accused. First, they’ll study all the information and hear the declarations from the people indicted by now. Only after analysing all that information, will they decide what is to be done with Infanta Cristina’s husband.
When asked, the Royal Household had no comment but wanted the investigations to proceed.
UPDATE 1: Read Urdangarín’s reaction to the rumours here.
Photo: El País