The sister of Spanish King Felipe VI, Cristina de Borbón, has paid the Palma courts the almost €600,000 civil liability bond demanded of her by prosecutors to cover her alleged profiting from financial crimes committed by her husband Iñaki Urdangarin.
Although anti-corruption attorney Pedro Horrach does not consider the infanta criminally responsible in the Nóos corruption investigation – which involves the alleged embezzlement of millions of euros from public contracts awarded by the regional governments of Valencia and the Balearics to Urdangarin’s non-profit Nóos institute – he does see her as civilly responsible as someone who benefited from her husband’s business dealings.
The infanta’s lawyers hope making the payment will ensure that Cristina is not put on trial
The infanta’s lawyers hope that making the payment will achieve two aims: to ensure that Cristina is not put on the stand in a possible trial, and also, as the prosecution has requested, that she is not called in as a witness.
The defense believes Cristina will not face trial, as the private prosecution brought by obscure right-wing labor union Manos Limpias has demanded.
The €587,413.585 sum is the amount Horrach specified that she should pay to cover her responsibility as someone who personally profited from her husband’s illegal business activities. The amount constitutes half of the funds that, according to Horrach, were illegally deposited in the firm Aizoon, which was jointly owned by the Infanta and Urdangarin.
Horrach believes that although Cristina de Borbón was unaware of the illegal source of the funds paid into Aizoon, she benefited from the money as her husband used it to pay for personal and family services and supplies.
Urdangarin created the Nóos Institute with business partner Diego Torres – who is also a target in the investigation – as a consulting group in 1999 and began organizing sporting events and tourism conferences for the Balearic Islands and Valencia regional governments after winning no-bid contracts.
Urdangarin faces eight criminal charges, including embezzling around €6 million in public money, and up to 18 years in prison. The trial is scheduled to begin a year from now.
The investigation began in 2010 as an offshoot of the Palma Arena case involving a sports arena that was constructed well over budget by the Balearics regional government of Jaume Matas.