Spain king's son-in-law appears in court 

 

The Spanish king's son-in-law was jeered by hundreds of protesters as he arrived at a court today to answer questions about suspected fraudulent deals.

Inaki Urdangarin - the Duke of Palma - has not been charged with a crime. But he is being questioned at the courthouse on this Mediterranean island about whether he used his high-profile status to secure lucrative deals for a nonprofit foundation he ran, then fraudulently diverted some of the money for personal gain. 

The investigation into the alleged financial misdeeds has embarrassed the monarchy in a country hard hit by a financial crisis and sky-high unemployment. 

As news of the investigation began to fill Spanish newspapers last year, King Juan Carlos announced in December that his son-in-law would no longer take part in official ceremonies with the rest of the family. 

Urdangarin, who lives in the United States, is a former professional and Olympic handball player who acquired his title by marrying the king's daughter, Cristina, Duchess of Palma. 

The duke arrived at the court today accompanied by his lawyer, Mario Pascual Vives, then braved a 25 metre walk in front of hundreds of jeering protesters, some carrying banners reading, "Juan Carlos, if you knew, why did you keep quiet?" 

A handful of pro-monarchy supporters were also present. 

The somber looking Urdangarin stopped before some 350 journalists from around the world that had gathered outside the court to give a brief statement. 

"I appear to demonstrate my innocence, my honour and my professional activity," he said, adding he is convinced his statements to the court would "clear up the truth." 

The duke is suspected of securing large contracts from regional governments for his foundation, then subcontracting the work to private companies he also oversaw, sometimes charging the public unrealistically inflated prices and syphoning some of the income to offshore tax havens. 

The duke's alleged misdeeds took place in 2004-2006. Urdangarin, the princess and their four children moved to Washington, D.C., in 2009 as the investigation began to heat up. 

The case exploded in the media late last year as Spain was buffeted by Europe's debt crisis, its economic growth grinding to a halt and already huge jobless numbers swelling. 

Under Spanish law, the court will decide whether the prosecution has adequate evidence to file charges against the duke.

AP

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

King's College, Cambridge: Stipendiary Junior Research Fellowships October 2016

£20,000-40,000: King's College, Cambridge: King's College wishes to appoint th...

Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Back End

£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has bec...

Recruitment Genius: Online Lettings Negotiator

£18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity to join ...

Guru Careers: Trainer / IT Trainer

£30 to £32k : Guru Careers: We are seeking a Trainer / IT Trainer to join an a...

Day In a Page

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'