Palma.—While the news that the Duke of Palma, Inaki Urdangarin, has been summoned to appear in a Palma court on February 6 to testify as a suspect in a corruption and fraud case made front page news across the world yesterday, the Duke's lawyer was here in Palma.

Urdangarin is still in the United States where he lives and works but yesterday, his legal representative, Pascual Vives, presented himself at court number 3 at 11.15 to inform the court that he will be acting in the defence of his client who he clearly stated on Thursday is innocent.

Vives declined making any statement to the press however he did thank the waiting media “for their interest.” The case surrounding Inaki Urdangarin, husband of the king's daughter Cristina, has been front-page news here in Spain for weeks.
But it went global yesterday after Judge Jose Castro named Urdangarin as a formal suspect in a criminal probe.
Spanish newspapers have quoted investigators as saying Urdangarin is suspected, among other things, of having taken some of about 6 million euros his nonprofit foundation received from the regional governments in Valencia and here in the Balearics for organising events such as sports seminars and diverting it to for-profit companies Urdangarin ran.

The Wall Street Journal's headline yesterday was “Spain King Son-In-Law Faces Court In Corruption Probe.” The Daily Telegraph ran the story: “King of Spain's son-in-law summoned in embezzlement case.” “King's Son-in-Law Summoned to Court Over Fraud Allegations” reported the New Yotk Times while in Australia, the Sydney Morning Herald's headline “Fraud scandal: the duke, the tourism conferences and the $2.9m” claiming that the scandal “threatens to damage the credibility of the country's royal family.” CNN International were running with the story “Spanish duke subpoenaed in corruption case” yesterday, reporting the announcement by the royal palace that Urdangarin will not participate in official family activities during the investigation and remarks by King Juan Carlos in his Christmas Eve speech that “justice is equal for everyone” have deflected public criticisms of the royal family.

Talk of the country
The Financial Times ran with the simple headline “Spanish duke faces corruption charges” claiming in its report that “the corruption case has been the talk of the country's living rooms over Christmas and revived debate about the merits of the Bourbon royal family.” “The charging of the duke is the latest move in a series of Spanish corruption cases that have affected not only the royal family and the central government but also the worst-run of the country's 17 regional governments,” Victor Mallet continued in the FT.

The Duke's lawyer has made it clear that his client now has the opportunity to “defend his honour” during the Palma court hearing which begins at 9am on February 6 and will be covered by the world's media.

The Duke has already denied any wrongdoing but he did publicly apologise last month for the embarrassment his legal problems were, and are, causing the royal family.


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