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Iñaki de Urdangarín Liebaert (Zumárraga, January 15, 1968) is a Spanish exbalonmanista, husband of the Infanta Cristina de Borbón.
During his sports career, between 1986 and 2000, he competed with the handball section of FC Barcelona, with which he won six European cups and ten ASOBAL leagues, as well as winning two Olympic bronze medals with the Spanish team. . Urdangarin, who married the Infanta Cristina de Borbón in 1997, focused on business activity after retiring from the sports field.
At the end of 2011 his involvement in a corruption scandal, the so-called Nóos Case, was made public, together with his former business partner Diego Torres Pérez, due to this and the progress of the investigations that were known through the media, La Zarzuela separated Urdangarin from his official acts on December 12, 2011, considering that his behavior had not been “exemplary” for the King’s House, and since then his public image has been progressively deteriorated. between Spanish society.
On February 17, 2017, the court found Urdangarín guilty of tax fraud and sentenced him to six years and three months, Urdangarin filed an appeal with the Supreme Court that decided not to apply precautionary measures, so while Urdangarin will not go to jail, he will be able to live in Switzerland and will not have to pay bail.
Training and professional career
He was born in Zumárraga (Guipúzcoa), but he spent his childhood in Barcelona and Vitoria. Son of Juan María de Urdangarín and Berriochoa, a historical activist of the PNV and former president of the savings bank of Vitoria and Álava (Caja Vital) and his wife Claire Françoise Marie Pharaïlde Liebaert, a Belgian woman, he played professionally in the handball section of FC Barcelona for fourteen seasons, between 1986 and 2000. He was international for the selection of handball of Spain in three Olympic Games, contributing to the achievement of two bronze medals in Atlanta 1996 and Sydney 2000, in addition to a bronze medal in a European. In the year 2000 he retired from the competition. In 1995 he was exempted from military service (mandatory at the time) for suffering total deafness.
On October 4, 1997, he married the Infanta Cristina de Borbón in the cathedral of Santa Eulalia in Barcelona, on which occasion the King granted his daughter the title of Duchess of Palma de Mallorca. They have had four children who occupy the seventh to tenth places in the order of succession to King Philip VI:
- Juan Valentín de Todos los Santos, born on September 29, 1999.
- Pablo Nicolás Sebastián de Todos los Santos, born on December 6, 2000.
- Miguel de Todos los Santos, born on April 30, 2002.
- Irene de Todos los Santos, born on June 5, 2005.
A member of the Spanish Olympic Committee (COE) since 2001 -a year after his retirement-, on February 16, 2004, he was appointed first vice president of that organization. He held the position until October 2005, when Alejandro Blanco replaced José María Echevarría in the presidency of the COE.
He has a diploma in Business Studies from the University of Barcelona, as well as a degree in Business Administration and Management, a Master in Business Training and Intervention and a Master in Business Administration from ESADE.
In 2003 he teamed up with his former ESADE professor Diego Torres to lead the Association of Applied Research Institute, which they renamed Instituto Nóos. In June 2006 he left the chairmanship of Fundación Nóos and was appointed advisor to Telefónica Internacional in Barcelona and is the honorary president of the Interactive Generations Forum, formed by Telefónica, the University of Navarra and the Inter-American University Organization. In 2009 he was promoted to adviser and president of the Public Affairs Committee of Telefónica Latin America and the United States, with an annual salary of around one million euros and transferring his residence in August 2009 to Washington DC July 2012, Telefónica / Movistar renewed its contract, which expired on the 31st of the same month, for one year with a salary of 1.5 million euros and representation expenses for a value of 1.2. His contract also provides for a settlement of 4.5 million in case of termination.
Convicted of corruption
In November 2011, Urdangarín and his partners were investigated in the Babel case, derived from the Palma Arena investigation. [21 ] On November 10, the news of a probable imputation for an alleged diversion of public money from the Nóos Institute he presided over appeared in the media. In a press release, La Zarzuela separated Iñaki Urdangarin from his official acts on December 12, 2011, because his behavior was not “exemplary” for the Casa del Rey.
A few days later, on December 29, Urdangarín was charged by Judge José Castro, and he was summoned to appear on February 6, 2012, although this date could be delayed if it was of interest for his representation. Two days after the indictment, Judge Castro accepted to delay the declaration of Urdangarin as imputed to February 25. Urdangarin’s statement lasted more than 22 hours, on the 25th and early morning of February 27. declared that he did not know of the existence of companies to divert public money, blamed Diego Torres and assured that the role of the Infanta Cristina in the business plot was merely testimonial and that the king asked her to disconnect from his activities professionals. The charges for which the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor charges him are embezzlement, fraud, fraud to the Administration, prevarication, falsehood, two crimes against the Treasury and money laundering.
Carlos García Revenga, treasurer of the Nóos Institute, secretary of the infantas and salaried worker of the Casa del Rey, is also investigated.
The newspaper El País found a document of a suspicious budget for an international event that the Nóos institute organized when Urdangarin was in office (2004-2006). It is believed that he persuaded several public administrations (mainly government governments). autonomous communities) to sign agreements with this institute (which was supposed to be a non-profit organization) both for work, which was never done, and for others with exorbitant budgets of up to 5 800 000 euros from public administrations. [30 ]
In September 2012, the dukes of Palma de Mallorca returned to live in Spain, in the Catalan capital. Iñaki Urdangarin requested temporary leave from Telefónica. On December 19, the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor’s Office he requested a bail of 8 189 448 euros for the Duke of Palma, his former partner Diego Torres and the companies managed by both defendants, and through which allegedly diverted public and private funds obtained through the Nóos Institute. The prosecutor Pedro Horrach requested in this way to open a separate piece of civil liability, within the framework of which it would be transferred to the parties personados in the ‘case Nóos’ to pronounce and make the allegations they deem appropriate, after which the judge, Jose Castro, will dictate a car by means of which will decide if it considers or not the request of the Office of the Public Prosecutor.
At the beginning of 2013 the Royal House deleted from its website the own page that corresponded to Urdangarin as a member of the Royal Family and only leaves its name and image, as husband of Doña Cristina and Duque de Palma de Mallorca, in the personal page of the Infanta. On January 30, the governing body of the City Council of Palma de Mallorca agreed that the central street of the city cease to be called Rambla de los Duques de Palma de Mallorca, a name that 1998, to return the original “Rambla”. Also, the Consistory decided to ask Urdangarin to avoid the use of its title, which the owner had mocked in emails made public and signed as “The Duke in … Palma … do”. The spokesman of the Consistory, Julio Martinez, of the Popular Party (PP), declared that the decision was taken unanimously by all the political forces and due to the “generalized demand” of the citizenship. In May 2014, the Tax Agency confirmed to Judge Castro that Urdangarín defrauded more than 240,000 euros in the Personal Income Tax for 2007 and 2008.
On February 17, 2017, the Provincial Court of Palma sentenced Urdangarin to 6 years and 3 months in prison and was charged with the following crimes:
- A continuous crime of prevarication in a mediation with a crime of falsification in a public document and with a crime of embezzlement of public funds, for which he is sentenced to 2 years and 8 months in prison, to a fine of 7 months and 17 days with a daily fee of ten euros and 2 years and 7 months of special disqualification for employment or regional and local public office of the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands.
- An offense of fraud against the Public Administration, for which he is sentenced to 7 months in prison and 4 years and 6 months of special disqualification for employment or public autonomic and local office of the Autonomous Community of the Balearic Islands.
- A crime of influence peddling, for which he is sentenced to 1 year in prison.
- A crime against the Treasury, for which he is sentenced to 1 year in prison and a fine of double the amount defrauded (259,478.38 euros).
- A crime against the Public Treasury, for which he is sentenced to 1 year in prison and a fine of double the amount defrauded (€ 253,075.30).
This makes a result of 7 years and a month of special disqualification and a total of a fine of 513,553.68 euros.
Urdangarin filed an appeal with the Supreme Court that decided not to apply precautionary measures, so while it is resolved Urdangarín will not go to jail, can live in Switzerland and will not have to post bail.
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