“What is wrong with having an account in Switzerland?”

Royal son-in-law Urdangarin’s secretary testifies before judge

Palma de Mallorca -
Julita Cuquerella arriving at the Barcelona courthouse.
Julita Cuquerella arriving at the Barcelona courthouse.ALEJANDRO GARCÍA (EFE)

The secretary to royal son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin — who is under investigation for allegedly diverting public funds — has admitted she penned a document that explained a deposit of money in an account in Switzerland.

Julita Cuquerella was called to testify on April 20 before Palma de Mallorca Judge José Castro about a 370,000-euro commission Urdangarin received from the Aguas de Valencia waterworks company (Agval) for work he performed as an advisor. Investigators believe the husband of Princess Cristina deposited the money in the Swiss account — the number was found in the document during a police raid on Urdangarin’s private businesses.

The royal has not been charged with tax evasion.

The following is part of the transcript of Cuquerella’s testimony, which was given in Barcelona and obtained by El PAÍS.

Prosecutor: Was it a contract signed by a so-called Robert Cooks of Aguas de Valencia?

Witness: They gave it to me in a closed envelope. I don’t know [who signed it], Mr Prosecutor. The truth of the matter is they gave it to me in a closed envelope.

Prosecutor: Who gave it to you?

Witness: Mr Urdangarin, and he dictated a note, yes... It didn’t seem it was anything bad, I don’t see anything bad about that note [which Cuquerella wrote].

Prosecutor: No one is saying there was anything bad about that note. There was an account in Switzerland. Did Mr Urdangarin give it to you?

Witness: What is wrong with having an account in Switzerland? Isn’t Switzerland the same thing as Zaragoza?

Prosecutor: Ma’am, ma’am don’t try to qualify it, just answer the question. And I won’t warn you again. Okay?

Witness: Sorry, sorry.

Prosecutor: Do you have an account in Switzerland?

Witness: I don’t.

Prosecutor: Mr Urdangarin has one and it’s under a made-up name, Robert Cooks. And this is normal to you?

Witness: I don’t know whether Mr Urdangarin has an account in Switzerland.


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