Palma.—Iñaki Urdangarin, the son-in-law of Spain's King Juan Carlos, left the court house in Palma in the early hours of yesterday morning after being questioned extensively on allegations that he had been involved with a corruption network.

Urdangarin, who is married to Princess Cristina, the King's youngest daughter, and has the title of Duke of Palma, had been questioned for a total of 21 hours since Saturday at 9am when the court proceedings began.

At first it was thought the questioning would go on into the early hours of Sunday morning but at 9pm on Saturday night, judge Castro adjourned proceedings until 9.30am on Sunday morning.

Throughout the preliminary hearing, the Princess waited for him in one of the properties on the Marivent Palace complex.
They caught the first flight back to Madrid yesterday morning and are expected to return to Washington, where the Duke works for Telefonica, as soon as possible.

Urdangarin and his business partner, Diego Torres, are suspected of using the non-profit Noos Institute to organise events related to sports and tourism here in the Balearics and Valencia, diverting public and private funds to a network of companies they created.

The Noos Institute, which was headed by Urdangarin from 2004 to 2006, received 5.8 million euros in public funds between 2004 and 2007.
Questioned by Judge Jose Castro, Urdangarin said he had only been a figurehead at the institute where Torres pulled the strings.
The duke also made it “absolutely clear” that Princess Cristina had “nothing to do” with the alleged irregularities at the institute, his lawyer Mario Pascual Vives said.

The lawyer also denied that Urdangarin had placed money in tax havens.
No bail was imposed on Urdangarin for the time being.
The Zarzuela royal palace has distanced itself from Urdangarin, but the scandal has nevertheless tarnished the reputation of the royal family, with groups of republicans demonstrating outside the court house over the weekend.

Grim poll results
The majority of Spaniards, 61.1 percent, believe the duke is guilty, according to a Sigma Dos poll made public Saturday by private television Telecinco. Only 7.4 percent feel he is innocent with the rest undecided.

The poll also found that a significant number of Spaniards, 43.7 percent, believe the scandal posed a risk to the survival of the monarchy in Spain and the Balearic Partido Popular government hope the affair has not damaged the royal family's relationship with Majorca where they traditionally spend their summer holidays at Marivent Palace.

The court hearings are part of a preliminary investigation into the affair, in which Urdangarin is a suspect along with former associates.
Once the judge has finished questioning all the witnesses and suspects in the case, he will decide whether to order a trial and charge the suspects, or drop the case. The judge has not indicated when he will wrap up questioning.


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