Palma.—The Duke of Palma, Iñaki Urdangarin's, camp is doing everything possible to keep the media, and the public, guessing about the Duke's movements ahead of tomorrow morning's court hearing.

At least 50 members of the National Police will throw a ring of steel up around the Avenidas courthouse and the nearby Tryp Palma hotel has apparently received a block booking for 20 rooms, suggesting that the Duke and his legal team could fly tonight instead of first thing tomorrow morning.

With the court house normally officially closed on Saturdays, the Duke will certainly use the rear entrance. What still remains to be seen is if he will be driven the 30 metres down the ramp to the rear of the court house or made to walk the short distance in front of the global media. All the properties over looking the rear of the court house have been searched on at least three occasions by the National Police and some officers will be stationed on key balconies where some of the TV stations will have their cameras stationed and will be reporting from.

As the Bulletin has been reporting, there is uncertainty about how parts of the general public will react, with the Republicans planning a huge anti-monarchy protest, so the security forces are leaving nothing to chance, not only for the Duke's safety but the public's safety in general. They do not want any clashes between the pro and anti-monarchy movements.

King Juan Carlos' son-in-law, whose wife Princess Cristina flew in from the States on Wednesday to support her husband, will be questioned by the “no nonsense” Judge Castro over corruption allegations in a scandal which has rocked the Spanish royal family and threatens its popularity.

The former Olympic handball player is at the centre of a probe into the alleged embezzlement of public funds from the non-profit Noos Institute which he headed between 2004 and 2006. Urdangarin and several former associates are suspected of having siphoned off money paid by regional governments, such as the Balearic administration while Jaume Matas was President, to the Noos Institute, for staging sporting events and conferences, to companies under their control.

The case is part of a broader corruption investigation involving the regional government of the Balearics and, in particular, Jaume Matas, where the institute is based.

State prosecutors are investigating suspected forgery, perversion of the course of justice, fraud and embezzlement of public funds, according to the search warrant issued for the Noos Institute last year.

The exact amount of money involved is not known. “If he made mistakes, as all citizens do, I would call them administrative mistakes,” Urdangarin's lawyer Mario Pascual Vives said this week, adding his client would face his court appearance with “courage, firmness and sincerity”.


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