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Spain’s Princess Cristina Named as Suspect in Corruption Probe

Inaki Urdangarin
Former Olympic handball player Inaqui Urdangarin leaves a courthouse on February 23, 2013 in Palma de Mallorca, on the Spanish Balearic Island of Mallorca, after testifying in the Noos Institute corruption case. Photographer: Jaime Reina/AFP via Getty Images

Princess Cristina, the daughter of Spain’s King Juan Carlos, was named an official suspect in a corruption investigation relating to her husband Inaki Urdangarin’s business activities.

Judge Jose Castro, who is investigating the case, told the princess to make a statement at a court in Palma de Mallorca as a suspect on April 27, according to a ruling provided by the High Court of Justice of the Balearic Islands today.

Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player, is a suspect in a fraud, embezzlement and money laundering probe that focuses on the non-profit Noos Institute, which was founded to make Spanish companies more competitive. The institute, where Urdangarin was chairman, won 5.8 million euros ($7.45 million) of contracts from the regional governments of Valencia and the Balearic Islands between 2004 and 2007 without participating in a competitive tender, ABC newspaper reported last year.

“The daughter of the king will be sat in the dock as a suspect,” said Miguel Bernad, secretary of Manos Limpias, the Madrid-based public workers union that filed a private prosecution against Urdangarin.

A spokesman for the royal family, who asked not to be identified by name in line with its policy, declined to comment when contacted by telephone today. The decision to call the princess as a suspect to answer questions on her involvement in Noos can be appealed.

Judge Castro said in his ruling there was a “series of indications” that made it doubtful that the princess was unaware of how her husband used her presence on the board to promote Noos.

He said it was necessary to avoid a “false closure” to the case that risked “discrediting the maxim that justice is equal for everyone.”

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