Urdangarin read a statement before Judge Jose Castro that the king’s office had no role in authorizing or advising his activities as part of his involvement in the non-profit Noos Institute, El Mundo reported on its website today. Urdangarin’s lawyer, Marius Pascual Vives, wasn’t immediately available when Bloomberg News contacted his office today to seek comment.
The case is a private prosecution filed by Clean Hands, a Madrid-based public workers union, and other groups. Spanish state broadcaster TVE showed images of Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player who is married to Princess Cristina, arriving in court in Mallorca today as a crowd of about 400 protesters waved anti-monarchy or Catalan independence movement banners.
The probe into Urdangarin’s activities at Noos has led him to be named as an official suspect on six counts including fraud, embezzlement and money laundering. The investigation is part of a wave of graft scandals hitting Spanish institutions.
E-mails from Urdangarin that his former partner Diego Torres supplied to magistrates in Mallorca, refer to meetings the king allegedly attended to help secure financial support for his son-in-law’s commercial projects, El Pais newspaper reported this week. In his statement today, Urdangarin said the king advised him to give up his activities at Noos because they weren’t appropriate, El Mundo reported.
A spokesman for the king, who asked not to be identified by name, declined to comment.
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