According to press reports, the probe also found that Urdangarin's companies were not able to justify the payments. Yesterday, the royal family said that they had absolute respect for the court's decisions, according to a spokesperson. Judge Jose Castro, who yesterday named Urdangarin as a formal suspect in the criminal probe, released a one page document but it did not mention the allegations.
The case against the duke is one of several big fraud scandals in Spanish courts, most of them dating to the real estate and urban development boom before the global financial crisis when local governments went on spending sprees.
Spain's royals have distanced the duke from official events. He and his wife and four children moved in 2009 to Washington, where he represents Spanish telecoms group Telefonica.
In a display of transparency apparently prompted by the case, the royal family disclosed income details on Wednesday for the first time, showing that the king and his immediate family received 814'128 euros last year for personal expenses. Most of their living expenses, including housing, official travel, security, state dinners, utility bills, palace staff and transportation, are covered under other budgets, such as the foreign ministry, the interior ministry and the presidency. A monthly opinion poll by the Social Research Centre, or CIS, shows that the historically high approval ratings for the royal family have fallen this year. King Juan Carlos, 73, is well liked and widely respected for overseeing the country's tense transition to democracy following Francisco Franco's nearly four-decade-long dictatorship. His son, Prince Felipe, is heir to the throne.