The King, ahead of Corinna Sayn-Wittgenstein, in Germany. GTRES
The King’s son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin, has, through his lawyer, denied practically all the accusations made against him during the Caso Nóos investigation. As the public prosecutors wait for the last reports before finalising the list of charges to be faced, the Duke of Palma maintains that there was nothing illegal in the dealings between the Nóos Institute and the regional authorities in Valencia and the Balearic Islands.
With this plea of innocence, in line with his statements given to the judge during questioning, the Duke’s defence has rejected the court’s demands for 8.2 million euros that Urdangarin and his former partner Diego Torres have been ordered to deposit with the courts as collateral to cover eventual damages.
So far Urdangarin and Torres have been formally charged with embezzlement (for allegedly pocketing the six million euros they received from the Valencia and Balearic governments for organising events); fraud against the Administration; falsification of documents; and corrupt practice. The prosecution also intends to add fiscal fraud and money laundering to the list, as well as possibly influence peddling. For all this the prosecution could call for a prison sentence of between seven and 26 years.
Meanwhile the Duke sticks to his claim that he merely played a “representative role” at the Nóos institute and that it was Torres who dealt with contracts and accounts.
Torres, on the other hand, has a different strategy. Back in May the lawyer representing the Duke’s former partner threatened to reveal the content of more than 200 compromising emails that could cause significant damage to the royal family. Attempts to reach an agreement to keep Torres out of jail failed, however, as did his plan to convince Urdangarin to pay all of the 8.2 million euros demanded by the court from both of them in equal parts.
His response at the end of last week was to reveal emails that mentioned the participation of a personal advisor and friend to King Juan Carlos, Corinna Sayn-Wittgenstein, in one of the congresses organised by Nóos in Valencia.
This email has led detectives to hotel bills that reveal that the Valencia authorities paid 30,000 euros to accommodate friends and relatives of Urdangarin and Torres during the 2004 Valencia Summit, including German aristocrat Sayn-Wittgenstein, none of whom were speakers or experts attending the sports event.