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NÓOS CASE

Princess Cristina probed for alleged tax fraud and money laundering

Nóos case judge set to target mayor of Valencia and the former regional premier

Princess Cristina pictured outside her place of work in Barcelona earlier this month.
Princess Cristina pictured outside her place of work in Barcelona earlier this month.

The judge in charge of the Nóos probe into the business affairs of royal son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin will investigate whether his wife, Princess Cristina, committed tax irregularities and money laundering in the period from 2007 to 2010.

Urdangarin has been formerly implicated in the case, which is trying to determine whether the Duke of Palma and his former partner, Diego Torres, wrongfully siphoned off funds amassed by their non-profit organization Instituto Nóos for organizing public events. The infanta was on the board of Nóos and jointly owned the real estate firm Aizoon, which is suspected of having been the recipient of some of the funds allegedly derived from the activities of Nóos.

Judge José Castro requested the tax declarations of Princess Cristina for the past 10 years and also asked the tax authorities to determine whether funds allegedly obtained from fraudulent activities where used to purchase the luxury home of Urdangarin and his wife in the Barcelona area.

He also asked the tax agency to analyze the bank deposits, property assets and investment funds in the name of Princess Cristina or of which she is a beneficiary. The agency found no tax irregularities in an examination of the princess’s declarations carried out in January.

The anti-corruption prosecutor in the Balearic Islands, Pedro Horrach, last week asked Judge Castro to request a report from the tax authorities on whether Princess Cristina had committed money laundering or tax irregularities. A number of media on Friday reported that the outcome of that probe was that there were no indications of tax offenses committed by the infanta. That report has yet to reach the judge, who has nonetheless decided to continue with this angle to his investigation.

Judge Castro officially named Princess Cristina as a suspect in the Nóos case in April. However, Horrach and the solicitor general’s office opposed that the decision and the regional High Court in Palma de Mallorca suspended the infanta’s indictment order earlier this month after ruling that there were no signs she was aware of her husband’s alleged illegal activities. However, the court’s ruling left the door open for the infanta to be investigated for possible tax irregularities.

In a parallel development, Judge Castro is preparing to name as suspects the former premier of the region of Valencia, Francisco Camps, and the mayor of Valencia, Rita Barberá, in connection with public contracts awarded to the Nóos Institute between 2004 and 2006 worth almost four million euros without a formal tender process. Both politicians are Popular Party representatives.