Accountant confesses in Spanish royal corruption scandal - court

Inaki Urdangarin, husband of Spain's Cristina de Borbon, sister of newly-crowned King Felipe VI, enters a court in Palma de Mallorca February 26, 2012. REUTERS/Andrea Comas (Reuters)

MADRID (Reuters) - The accountant of the King of Spain's brother-in-law has made a detailed written confession laying out how Inaki Urdangarin allegedly embezzled millions of euros through his non-profit organisation Noos Foundation, a Spanish court said on Thursday. The confession is the latest development in an embarrassing and drawn-out corruption investigation which threatens to hold back the royal family's attempts to rebuild its reputation following last month's coronation of King Felipe VI. Urdangarin, 46, a former Olympic handball player, is accused of using his connections to win public contracts putting on events through his Noos Foundation and embezzling millions of euros in public funds through the organisation. The state prosecutor handed over to Palma Examining Magistrate Jose Castro a written account from Urdangarin's accountant, Marco Antonio Tejeiro, detailing criminal acts he had allegedly committed, the Supreme Court of the Balearic Islands said. The court did not give details of these accounts, but Spanish newspaper El Mundo reported the accountant had confessed the Noos Foundation had never acted as a charity and Urgandarin and his partner funnelled funds into offshore accounts in order to pay less taxes. Urdangarin and the newly-crowned king's sister, Cristina de Borbon, have both denied wrongdoing. De Borbon has been charged with tax fraud and money laundering. Last month, King Juan Carlos abdicated in favour of his son Felipe, bringing to an end a near-four-decade reign which had become tainted by scandal and accusations that the monarch was out of touch with recession-bound Spaniards. (Reporting by Inmaculada Sanz; Writing by Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Andrew Roche)