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ROYAL CORRUPTION

Nóos case prosecutor seeks 18 years for king’s brother-in-law Urdangarin

Anti-corruption attorney's report for judge also asks for Infanta Cristina to be acquitted

Iñaki Urdangarin and his wife Cristina de Borbón.
Iñaki Urdangarin and his wife Cristina de Borbón. EFE

Iñaki Urdangarin, husband of Spanish royal Cristina de Borbón, is closer to standing trial over the Nóos case, which involves millions of euros in embezzled money earned through no-bid contracts with the regional governments of Valencia and the Balearics.

The anti-corruption attorney, Pedro Horrach, has put together a 500-page document that lays the blame for Nóos on King Felipe VI’s brother-in-law and acquits Cristina of any criminal wrongdoing.

The report, which investigating judge José Castro will receive on Tuesday, asks for prison terms of 18 years for Urdangarin and 11 years for Jaume Matas, former premier of the Balearic Islands, under whose government the public contracts were awarded.

The report also asks for a prison term of 11 years for former Balearics premier Jaume Matas

The judge will now have to dissect the report before deciding whether to also put Cristina de Borbón on trial for alleged tax evasion and money laundering through a front company in which she and her husband were partners.

Horrach and Castro had a public fallout over the princess’s role in the affair; the former has always defended her innocence, while the latter forced Cristina to answer questions in court in February of this year, an unprecedented situation for a member of Spain’s royal family.

Urdangarin created the Nóos Institute in 1999 with his partner Diego Torres, who had been one of his teachers at Madrid’s ESADE business school and is now also a target in the investigation. The non-profit entity was set up as a consulting group 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. 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 built over budget by the government of Jaume Matas.