PALACE SCANDAL

Royal secretary asks to testify in Nóos inquiry after his name surfaces

García Revenga served as treasurer at Urdangarin’s non-profit institute

/ Barcelona / Palma de Mallorca 25 ENE 2013 - 19:13 CET

The private secretary to Princesses Elena and Cristina has asked to testify in the ongoing public fraud case against King Juan Carlos’ son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin after his name surfaced in papers filed by defense lawyers with the judge conducting the inquiry.

Carlos García Revenga said in a statement released on Thursday that he never committed any crimes or irregularities while he also served as treasurer for Urdangarin’s non-profit organization, the Nóos Institute.

The statement was released just hours after the defense team for Diego Torres, Urdangarin’s former partner who is also facing public fraud charges in the case, released a barrage of emails that suggested García Revenga was privy to the alleged diversion of public funds that was taking place at the institute.

Urdangarin, who is married to Princess Cristina, has again been subpoenaed by Palma de Majorca Judge José Castro to testify in the case on February 23. The former Olympic handball player already appeared in court last August to explain his role at the institute.

Anti-corruption prosecutors allege that Urdangarin siphoned some 2.3 million euros from the Balearics government and 3.7 million from the Valencia administration to organize sports and tourism conferences. The money, prosecutors say, was actually funneled to Urdangarin’s private businesses, including the real estate firm Aizoon that he jointly operated with his wife.

Once close partners, Torres and Urdangarin have blamed each other for the host of irregularities that may have taken place at the Nóos Institute, which was set up to organize sports and tourism conferences and events.

Torres’s defense lawyers have already released a batch of 200 emails that suggest some in the Royal Household, including the king, may have been aware of Urdangarin’s activities. The monarch ordered his son-in-law to disassociate himself from his businesses in 2006, but prosecutors believe that Urdangarin continued to conduct business secretly with the help of others from Nóos, who had gone off to set up a similar non-profit organization but under a different name.

Now with the latest emails turned over to Judge Castro, the allegations have reached even further into the Zarzuela Royal Palace. Some 30 emails suggest that García Revenga may have played an important role in helping Urdangarin transfer money into different accounts.

“Carlos, the transfers to Doña Cristina corresponding to her Zarzuela fees should be deposited as of January in another account,” Urdangarin wrote in one correspondence.

In his statement García Revenga said that he “never had power of attorney” over any of Nóos accounts — despite the fact that he was treasurer — or the power to make any major decisions at Nóos.

“It is true that, because of my role as advisor to Doña Elena and Doña Cristina I did mix, on occasions, duties that I was charged to perform as part of my job with others related to the private activities of (Urdangarin and Princess Cristina),” he said.

“The reason for this has been because, of the 20 years I have held the position as advisor to the Princesses Elena and Cristina, there has been a closer but strictly profession relationship that I cannot deny.”

The he added: “In no case have I conducted these negotiations as a representative of the Royal House of His Majesty the King, and of course, they have never been carried out contrary to any moral or ethical principles.”

 

 

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