Student's 'Double Life' Among Spanish Elite

Student's 'Double Life' Among Spanish Elite

A 20-year-old Spanish law student who apparently passed himself off as a spy and gatecrashed the King's coronation is waiting to find out if he will be prosecuted.

Francisco Nicolas Gomez Iglesias, dubbed "Little Nicolas", is thought to have fooled dozens of Spain's elite by passing himself off as various government officials, including a secret service agent and an adviser to the deputy prime minister.

Mr Gomez was arrested in October on suspicion of fraud, forgery and impersonating government officials but was bailed while police investigated the case.

According to Spanish publication El Confidencial, Mr Gomez has been studying at one of Madrid's top universities but was also lunching with business executives and politicians, even joining them in the VIP box at Real Madrid's stadium.

Mercedes Perez, the judge overseeing the investigation, wrote in a report that she could not understand how "a young man of 20, using only his own word, could have access to government conferences, places and events without his behaviour causing any alarm".

Her report was also quoted as saying he received thousands of pounds from a businessman in return for brokering a property deal while claiming to be a government adviser.

Police became suspicious after he tried - but failed - to get into a party at the US embassy.

A search of his house found fake government vehicle permits, a police siren and two official Civil Guard and National Police licence plates, according to the New York Times.

Among the events he claims to have been invited to was King Felipe VI's coronation in June, which came after the abdication of King Juan Carlos.

The 20-year-old is seen shaking hands with the King at the event.

Mr Gomez has claimed he received text messages from King Juan Carlos, telling Spanish channel Telecinco: "The day of his abdication, I sent him a message and he replied 'Thanks a million, JC'."

It is not clear how Mr Gomez managed to carry out his alleged scam, as the Spanish government, the deputy prime minister, the country's intelligence organisation and the ruling PP party have all denied employing him.

Mr Gomez told Telecinco: "I only did what was best for Spain. I don’t know if you want to call it ambition or co-operation but I am 20 years old and I was driven by the desire to collaborate with the state."

The case has caught the Spanish imagination, as photos and videos emerged online of him in the company of royalty and politicians and fake Twitter accounts joining in, posting photos of the student next to Darth Vader and walking beside Pope Francis.

He has been dubbed "Little Nicolas" by the Spanish press in reference to a French story about a naughty school boy.

A Facebook page dedicated to him has more than 37,000 fans.

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