Thursday, 10 November 2011

Royal household allegedly involved in corruption scandal

SPAIN (Agencies) The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor for the Balearic Islands asserts that the Duke of Palma, Iñaki Urdangarín, and his partner Diego Torres set up a 'framework of companies' in order to 'take possession' of public and private monies received by the Nós Institute, a non-profit organization that both of them presided. This, at any rate is what it says in documents in the legal proceedings headed by José Castro, the judge in charge of investigations into the so-called Palma Arena case. Several searches of the network of companies have already been carried out in the case, as well as at Torres's home. The judge is now studying the possibility of formally accusing Urdangarín through the court in Palma de Mallorca. In his court  records, Castro, says he is investigating the Duke and Torres for>>>
document falsity, corrupt practices, fraud on the Administration and embezzlement regarding two agreements signed in 2005 and 2006 by the Balearic Government, which at the time was headed by Jaume Matas (PP), and the Nóos Institute, for €2.3 million.

Urdangarín joined the institute as Administrator in 2003, when Torres was President, and became President himself the following year, when Torres was Managing Director. The latter went on to become President when the Duke of Palma left the presidency in 2006.

"The only objective in taking control of the Nóos Institute was to obtain the cover afforded by an entity that was ostensibly non-profit-making," says the prosecutor. There were several other aims, adds the prosecutor: to seem as though a profit was not being made and "the social prestige derived from altruistic events" organized by the institute, and to "avoid suspicion on the part of third parties as it was basically financed with public funds."
The companies in Barcelona that allegedly belong to the network, which were searched in recent days include Aizoon, a real estate company owned by Urdangarín, Nóos Consultoría, the Tejeiro law offices, Virtual Strategies, Intuit, Shiriaimasu and the De Goes Center for Stakeholder Management. The last two are linked to Torres and members of his family, many of which share official addresses.

Don Ignacio (Iñaki) Urdangarín Liebaert, Duke of Palma de Mallorca, Grandee of Spain (born in ZumarragaGipuzkoa, 15 January 1968) is a prominent retired handball player. He is the husband of the Infanta Cristina, Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain.

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