Princess Cristina “was concerned” over six-million-euro mansion purchase
Notary describes Infanta’s doubts and how Urdangarin’s financial advisor pressured for duchess’s signature
The notary who oversaw the purchase of a Barcelona mansion by the Duke and Duchess of Palma, testified before the judge investigating the Nóos case that Princess Cristina “did not wish to sign” the paperwork for the purchase of a property worth almost six million euros.
“The princess did not wish to sign, because she was not clear in her mind how it could be affordable,” Carlos Masía told Judge José Castro, who is probing the Infanta’s husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, for alleged misappropriation of public funds via the non-profit Nóos Institute. The notary also stated that he had received pointers from Urdangarin’s financial advisor, who is also an official suspect in the case, should the princess ask any questions. “Tell her: It has to go through the executive board, but as far as the bank is concerned, it’s already approved.” The bank in question was La Caixa, whose social works department within its foundation the princess once headed and where she still works today.
“She had a series of concerns,” Masía continued. “She wasn’t clear about the operation at all. She had a look of doubt on her face but in the end didn’t say anything.”
Asked if the Duke of Palma and the princess had bought the mansion in the exclusive Pedralbes neighborhood after selling their previous home, valued at 2.2 million euros, Masía confirmed that they had.
The property is now officially on the market despite a judicial embargo in place to cover the 8.2-million-euro bail bond of the king’s son-in-law and his erstwhile business partner Diego Torres. Both men stand accused of siphoning millions of euros of public money through Nóos and on to private companies in their name via a system of overcharging the Valencia and Balearic Islands’ regional governments for sports and tourism events.
Meanwhile, the anticorruption prosecutor in the case, Pedro Horrach, has rejected a demand filed in a private prosecution by obscure rightwing group Manos Limpias to relieve the duke of his passport. Urdangarin has been offered a job as assistant coach on the Qatar national handball team and is expected to decamp to the emirate shortly.
Horrach noted that Urdangarin had always appeared in court when required over the past three years and had never given any cause for the authorities to suspect he might take flight. Furthermore, said Horrach in a written statement to the judge, Urdangarin’s police bodyguard is “an extra guarantee.”