• Germany edition
 
Princess pulls Spanish King into royal scandal
Photo: DPA

Princess pulls Spanish King into royal scandal

Published: 25 Feb 2013 13:45 GMT+01:00
Updated: 25 Feb 2013 13:45 GMT+01:00

A German aristocrat said on Monday she secured a job for Spanish King Juan Carlos' son-in-law, who is under investigation for allegedly embezzling million of euros of public money, at the request of the monarch.

Corinna Sayn-Wittgenstein, a German princess through a former marriage, said in an interview published in daily newspaper El Mundo that she found a job for Inaki Urdangarin in 2004 at the Laureus sports foundation but he ultimately turned it down.

"The king asked me to help Inaki find a suitable job at an internationally recognised organisation," said Sayn-Wittgenstein, whom Spanish media describe as a close friend of the king.

Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball champion who is married to the king's youngest daughter Cristina, is accused of leveraging his connections to gain inflated contracts to stage sports and tourism events from regional governments for the Noos Institute, a non-profit foundation he once managed.

Prosecutors suspect Urdangarin and his former business partner Diego Torres siphoned off millions of euros from these contracts and then redirected much of the money to offshore accounts and private businesses.

Urdangarin, 45, was jeered as he appeared at a court in Palma to be questioned for the second time by a judge investigating the corruption allegations. He and Torres have denied any wrongdoing and have not been charged with any crime.

Torres has provided the investigation judge with e-mails allegedly exchanged between Urdangarin and Sayn-Wittgenstein which appeared to indicate that the king backed and closely followed his son-in-law's business career.

Sayn-Wittgenstein, who runs a consulting firm, Appolonia Associates, told El Mundo that Urdangarin visited her London office in June 2004 to discuss a job at Laureus, which is best known for staging a yearly awards ceremony sponsored by luxury brands.

"His profile seemed perfect to work for Laureus. He was a real 'Golden Boy': an Olympic Athlete with two medals, at Atlanta and Sydney, and member of a European royal family through his marriage with Princess Cristina," she said.

But after several months Urdangarin, who comes from a wealthy Basque family and who acquired the title of Duke of Palma when he married Cristina in 1997, decided not to accept the job, she added.

"When he did not accept the offer from Laureus, I was very disappointed. And that put me in a very uncomfortable position with the Foundation," Sayn-Wittgenstein said.

"It was perfect given his position, but I think it was not enough for him. Laureus was not El Dorado," she added.

Laureus offered to pay Urdangarin a yearly salary of €200,000 but he felt the amount was not sufficient, El Mundo reported.

During his court appearance on Saturday, Urdangarin said the royal family did not advise or authorise the activities of the Noos Institute, which he ran from 2004 to 2006.

AFP/mb

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

01:27 February 26, 2013 by blackboot11
Germany officially abolished its royalty in 1919... did she not get the memo?
Today's headlines
German ladies net Fed Cup final appearance
Germany's Angelique Kerber celebrates her victory over Australia's Sam Stosur with teammates after their match in the Fed Cup semi-final. AFP Photo: Patrick Hamilton

German ladies net Fed Cup final appearance

Angelique Kerber put Germany into their first Fed Cup final in 22 years with a fighting victory over Australia's Samantha Stosur in the semi-final in Brisbane on Sunday. READ () »

Germany should make use of shale gas: EU
EU commissioner for Energy Günther Oettinger pictured in Luxembourg in 2013. AFP Photo: Georges Gobet

Germany should make use of shale gas: EU

EU energy commissioner Günther Oettinger has urged Germany to make use of shale gas options and added that the he saw no danger of Europe's access to Russian gas falling victim to possible economic sanctions in the standoff over Ukraine. READ () »

Tennis aces close in on Fed Cup final
Members of the German Fed Cup Team celebrate after an earlier victory in the tournament. Photo: DPA

Tennis aces close in on Fed Cup final

Germany took hold of their Fed Cup semi-final on Saturday, winning both the opening day singles to lead Australia 2-0 in Brisbane. READ () »

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradites ex-top spy to Germany

Croatia extradited a former Yugoslav spy chief, Zdravko Mustac, to Germany on Thursday to face charges for the 1983 murder of a dissident on German soil. READ () »

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years
An officer of the Lower Saxon Criminal Investigation Department (CID) securing evidence on the hijacked ship Marida Marguerite. Photo: DPA

German court jails Somali pirate for 12 years

A German court has sentenced a Somali pirate chief to 12 years in jail for hijacking a ship off the Horn of Africa and tormenting its crew during an eight-month ordeal. READ () »

New app helps clients find prostitutes
Photo: DPA

New app helps clients find prostitutes

While the German government is considering tightening prostitution laws, Berlin entrepreneurs have developed a smartphone app to connect sex-workers with clients. READ () »

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend
Photo: DPA

Highs of 22C forecast for Easter weekend

The days running up to Easter may be cool and wet, but the holiday weekend should be a bit warmer for most of Germany, according to forecasters. READ () »

Berlin man must call himself a mother
The fight over the transgender man's right to be his child's official father has been raging since last year. Photo: DPA

Berlin man must call himself a mother

A transgender person who became the first man in Germany to give birth in March 2013 must be registered as the child's mother, a court has ruled after his year-long court battle to be named a father. READ () »

Study: rape convictions fall sharply
Photo: DPA

Study: rape convictions fall sharply

The chance of being convicted of rape in Germany has more than halved in the past two decades to fewer than one in ten, a major study revealed on Thursday. READ () »

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax
The tax privilege for investment income is unfair, says the SPD. Photo: DPA

SPD: Restore 45-percent investment tax

The centre-left half of Germany's coalition government has called for the old top rate of a 45-percent tax on investments to be brought back - to match standard income tax and fight the squeeze on middle incomes. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: DPA
Rhineland
Elderly man taped €200,000 to his genitals
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
What's the unemployment rate in your area of Germany?
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Advertisement:
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,068
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd