Court names Spanish princess in corruption case | Europe| News and current affairs from around the continent | DW | 03.04.2013
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Court names Spanish princess in corruption case

A Spanish court has summoned the daughter of King Juan Carlos to appear as a suspect in a high-profile corruption case. Princess Cristina’s husband is accused of embezzlement and peddling influence.

The court in Palma de Mallorca on Wednesday named the 47-year-old princess as the suspect in a case involving her husband and former Olympic handball player, Inaki Urdangarin.

In a decree, it said there was reason to believe the may have been involved in the alleged corruption by her husband and his former business partner Diego Torres.

Investigating judge, Jose Castro, said that to close the case without hearing from Princess Cristina would "discredit the maxim that justice is equal for all."

He maintained there were signs that the princess was aware that her husband was using her name and status to obtain contracts. The princess was a board member of two of her husband's companies.

"Evidence has arisen that allows room for doubt," said Castro, summoning the princess to appear on April 27.

Conflicting accounts

Urdangarin, who has so far not been charged with any crime, has tried to distance his wife and the royal family from the case. However, Torres provided the judge with emails showing that Urdangarin regularly consulted his wife about Noos business.

As well as the accusations of abusing influence, Urdangarin and Torres are being investigated over allegations that they embezzled more than 6 million euros ($7.8 million). The money was allegedly funneled through the charitable organization, the Noos Institute, which organized sports and tourism events in both the Balearic Islands and the Valencia region.

After the ruling, prosecutors said there had been no evidence against the Princess Cristina and that they would lodge an appeal against the decision to summons her.

rc/kms (AFP, AP, dpa, Reuters)