Prosecutor seeks 19 years in prison for princess’s husband Urdangarin
More than half of Nóos case suspects may not face charges
Infanta Cristina could be required to pay 600,000 in civil liability
After Princess Cristina’s unprecedented testimony before an investigating judge in Palma de Mallorca on Saturday, the anticorruption prosecutor in the Nóos investigation, Pedro Horrach, maintains that the infanta should not be implicated in the business dealings of her husband, former Olympic handball medalist Iñaki Urdangarin, and has also stated that over half of the 40 official suspects in the case should not face charges.
However, the prosecutor has now asked that Urdangarin, the Duke of Palma, should face a 19-year prison sentence and his former business partner Diego Torres 15 years, both on charges of embezzlement, falsifying documents, tax fraud and other financial crimes. Torres’ brother-in-law and financial advisor, Miguel Tejeiro, who designed the shell companies and tax fiddles though which Torres and Urdangarin allegedly funneled millions of euros of public money, also faces 19 years if found guilty.
In the case of Cristina, the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos, Horrach will recommend she stump up 600,000 euros in civil liability for her position as a co-owner of the real estate firm Aizoon, one of the companies used by Urdangarin and into which he pumped 1.7 million euros of illicit money.
The list of offenses Horrach intends to prosecute is extensive, and the total of sentences for those accused of involvement in the scheme could reach 130 years. Among those in the prosecutor’s firing line is the former Popular Party regional premier of the Balearic Islands, Jaume Matas, who has already been convicted twice for his involvement in the Palma Arena scandal, a massive corruption case from which the Nóos investigation stemmed. Horrach will seek a five-year term for Matas, who is currently in the process of seeking a pardon from the Justice Ministry for his previous convictions.
Carlos García Revenga, the royal secretary to Princess Cristina and her elder sister, Elena, should face no charges, according to Horrach, as is the case of Torres’ wife, Ana María Tejeiro.
Several other public office holders in Valencia could be prosecuted, as may Mercedes Coghen, a leading member of the Madrid 2016 Olympic bid.
Horrach will also consider mitigation for those who cooperated with the investigation. Chief among these is José Luis Ballester, a friend of the royal couple. Ballester revealed the nature of the relationship between Urdangarin and Matas, as well as his own part in the scheme in exchange for a favorable plea bargain. However, even if the circumstances are accepted by the court, it is expected that Ballester will receive a sentence of more than two years, which would carry with it a spell behind bars.
The legal advisor in the tourism department of Matas’ Balearics administration, Miguel Ángel Bonet, and the former chief of the regional Tourism Institute, Juan Carlos Alía, joined Ballester in the offices of the anticorruption authorities and will receive reduced sentences if convicted. Alía has previously served time for his involvement in other cases of corruption.
This article previously reported that the prosecutor was seeking a jail term of up to 17 years for Urdangarin and Miguel Tejeiro.