Julio Iglesias is a wanted man. A Valencia court has been chasing the veteran Spanish crooner for two years over a concert he gave in Orlando and Mexico in 1998 and 1999, part of a small tour for which the Valencia regional government (Generalitat), through the Valencia Institute of Exportation (Ivex), paid almost six million euros.
Considered “untraceable” by the courts, Iglesias has yet to be called to testify over the contracts he signed with the Generalitat to act as a representative of the Valencia region in the Americas. José María Tarbes, the former director of Ivex, is the sole suspect in the case, which was opened in 2001, and is provisionally charged with embezzlement, financial crimes and falsification of documents. However, the singer of such songs as Hey!, and To All The Girls I’ve Loved Before, is to perform in the Palau de les Arts in Valencia on July 7, just 300 meters from the court that is supposedly seeking the Miami resident.
The contract awarded to Iglesias for the performances was in two parts: 2,253,795 euros for image rights and 3,696,224 euros for a “letter of intention.” This second part was kept from the regional government by then-Popular Party (PP) premier Eduardo Zaplana. Under pressure from opposition parties the PP was forced to reveal the second half of the contract and a lawsuit was opened in 2001 against Tarbes to seek justification of the payment, which the court deemed was not sufficiently transparent or properly accredited.
After years of investigation and judicial meandering, Judge Luis Carlos Presencia shelved the so-called “Ivex case” in 2010. However, the Valencia Socialist Party appealed against the ruling, stating that it was necessary to call Iglesias to court to shed light on the affair. The Valencia regional High Court was left with no choice but to reopen the case and call the singer to testify. However, until now the authorities have not been able to ask the singer about his millionaire emoluments, despite Iglesias performing in nearby Gandía last July. The United Left in the Valencia region has accused Iglesias of “making a mockery of the law.”
The man who holds the key to the Ivex case, Tarbes, fled to Japan in 2006. With no extradition treaty between the two countries, it appears that Iglesias, whose first album was entitled Yo canto (I sing), will have to do exactly that before the matter is closed.