MADRID — The former electrician for Spain’s famed cathedral in Santiago de Compostela has denied having ever seen the priceless 12th-century Codex Calixtinus that authorities found in his garage and has insisted he doesn’t remember confessing that he stole it.
The richly decorated Codex, which went missing in 2011, is considered the first guide for Christians making the pilgrimage to venerate St. James.
Jose Manuel Fernandez Castineiras, who is in his 60s, made the declarations a day after his lawyer argued that the confession should be thrown out.
The lawyer, Carmen Ventoso, also said judges should throw out the security video that appeared to show her client in a cathedral office stuffing money into his pock-ets.
Authorities who searched the electrician’s home in 2012 also found other valuable religious works and recovered more than $1.2 million.
Fernandez Castineiras faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted.