25-02-2016

Diego Torres, the former business partner of Iñaki Urdangarin at the Instituto Nóos, was subject yesterday to a third day of declaration and cross-examination in the ongoing Nóos trial.

Torres was asked by the lawyer for Manos Limpias, which has private prosecutions in the trial, about the role of Princess Cristina in the Instituto Nóos. Torres rejected any claim that the princess had been the bait with which Nóos had been able to hook public contracts. Torres stressed that her role had been confined to board membership but that she had no management role. In no way, Torres insisted, was the princess there to attract contracts and she held no major function within Nóos.

On this exchange, the lawyer for the princess sought an intervention by the president of the judges' board, Samantha Romero, arguing that the questioning was "impertinent" as the princess is only due to be judged for an alleged tax crime related to Aizoon, the separate company of which the princess and Urdangarin were directors. The state prosecutor, Pedro Horrach, made a similar complaint about the questioning, but Romero allowed it to stand.

Considering the role in Nóos played by the Royal Household secretary to Princess Cristina, Carlos García Revenga, Torres said that he had an active part because of function for supervising affairs related to the princess. He also took part in presentations made by Nóos but that this was not in a capacity as a Nóos employee but as part of normal work by a board member.

Addressing the alleged illegal diversion of 6.2 million euros of public funds, Torres said that he was content that there are minutes related to events that were undertaken and which show, point by point, everything that was done and that it was controlled. "You cannot imagine how content I am that these minutes exist," he said during his continuing declaration, adding that there are photos of public presentations where everything can be seen.

On the specific case of the Balearic Islands Forum in 2005, Torres said that this was the main project that Nóos had undertaken that year. "Urdangarin worked long  hours on it. I couldn't say how many." On a payment that Nóos had made to Aizoon, Torres said that "logistics management was done below the market price".

The lawyer for the Valencia government's Attorney's office, Maria Angeles Berrocal, asked Torres about invoices for the two forums staged in the Balearics and for the Valencia Summit. On various occasions, Torres decided not to respond. However, he remarked that what was relevant was in the cost reports for which she has had three years to analyse. He also said that invoices for the two Balearic forums and the Valencia Summit were "real and true".

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