Europe

Spanish gatecrasher face charges over TV interview

Royal family waves from the balcony at the Royal Palace in Madrid on 19 June 2014
Image caption Francisco Gomez said he was invited to the coronation reception of King Felipe VI by the royal family

A Spanish student who gate-crashed the coronation reception of King Felipe VI could face prosecution over claims he made in a TV interview.

Francisco Nicolas Gomez Iglesias was arrested last month for fraud, forgery and impersonating government officials but later released on bail.

Mr Gomez said on Sunday that he had been invited to events by government ministers.

Spain's interior minister said his statements would be investigated.

Royal texts

Dubbed "Little Nicolas" by the press, he is thought to have defrauded dozens of people by passing himself off as various government officials including a secret service agent and an adviser to Spain's deputy prime minister, in a series of elaborate scams.

But his troubles appeared to deepen after he told TeleCinco on Sunday that he had been personally invited to the celebration of King Felipe's coronation in June and that he had received text messages from King Juan Carlos before his abdication.

"The day of his abdication, I sent him a message and he replied 'Thanks a million, JC'," said Mr Gomez.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption King Juan Carlos abdicated on 18 June 2014

He implicated various government ministers who he suggested had helped him gain access to events, including Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria.

He added that he frequently used government cars from "all kinds of organisations" including the Spanish defence ministry.

The government denies his claims and Interior Minister Rafael Catala has warned that his statements will be studied "to see if they constitute some kind of offence against the public interest, the public administration, the government".

Fake permits

Mr Gomez's exploits gained notoriety after his arrest last month when photos, thought to be genuine, surfaced of him in the company of various politicians and members of the royal family.

A search of his house revealed fake government vehicle permits, a police siren and two official Civil Guard and National Police licence plates.

Mercedes Perez, the judge overseeing the investigation, wrote in a report after his arrest 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".

Police became suspicious of Mr Gomez after he tried unsuccessfully to attend a party at US embassy, reports said.

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