Royal trial

Infanta Cristina played “no role” at real estate firm, says Nóos witness

Ex-accountant at non-profit testifies that he only saw Spanish royal on two occasions

Infanta Cristina and her husband Iñaki Urdangarin arrive in court on Tuesday.
Infanta Cristina and her husband Iñaki Urdangarin arrive in court on Tuesday.TOLO RAMON

The former accountant at the Nóos Institute testified on Tuesday that the sister of Spain’s King Felipe, Cristina de Borbón, had no active involvement in a real estate company that she co-owned with her husband and Nóos founder Iñaki Urdangarin, which is believed to have been used for diverting public money.

Marco Antonio Tejeiro took the stand for the third day at the high-profile Nóos trial in Palma de Mallorca.

Last week, Tejeiro testified that Urdangarin and his former business partner Diego Torres split the profits they made at Nóos on an even basis.

Cristina never called, sent him an invoice or email during the time the accountant was working at the institute

On Tuesday, prosecutors asked him specifically about Cristina’s role at the Aizoon real estate firm.

“She had no role,” Tejeiro said, adding that she never called him, sent him an invoice or emailed him during the time he was working for the institute.

The infanta, as she is known in Spain, served on the board of directors at Aizoon.

She is on trial along with Urdangarin and 15 others in connection with an alleged scheme in which around €6.2 million in money from public contracts was diverted from the non-profit Nóos Institute to go to private businesses set up by Urdangarin and Torres.

Cristina is charged with using some of the diverted money for personal expenses and writing them off as deductions in her 2007 and 2008 tax filings. She faces up to eight years if convicted.

Her husband and former business partner face more serious charges, such as money laundering and embezzlement of public funds. Prosecutors are asking for a sentence of more than 19 years for Urdangarin.

Urdangarin offered to handle the media coverage for a foundation’s cycling team through Aizoon, says the witness

Nóos was set up by Urdangarin and Torres to handle publicly paid tourism and sporting events in the Balearic Islands and Valencia.

Tejeiro, who is also charged but is cooperating with prosecutors in exchange for a two-year suspended sentence, said he only saw Cristina on two occasions – once when she went to pick up her husband at the office and another time when he was invited by Urdangarin to a birthday party at their home.

But the former accountant did not distance Urdangarin from Aizoon. Tejeiro said he recognized his signature on a budget that the real estate firm sent to the Illes Balear Foundation.

Urdangarin had reportedly offered to handle the media coverage and public relations for the foundation’s cycling team through Aizoon.

“Aizoon never performed any type of work involving the media,” Tejeiro said.

English version by Martin Delfín.

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