Palma.—The acting Minister for Development and government spokesperson, Jose Blanco, yesterday said that the Duke of Palma, Iñaki Urdangarin, is “innocent until proven guilty” as the investigation into the possible diversion of public funds by a foundation once headed by Urdangarin, who is married to Princess Cristina, the youngest child of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, continues.

The chief anti-corruption prosecutor for the Balearics, Pedro Horrach, has questioned several people this week in connection with the probe of the non-profit Instituto Nóos.

But, Horrach has no immediate plans to ask supervising magistrate Jose Castro to subpoena the Duke of Palma for questioning as a potential defendant, sources close to the investigation have revealed.

Horrach and his team suspect Urdangarin and Diego Torres, a Nóos director during Urdangarin's tenure as president and the duke's successor as head of the foundation, established a web of shell corporations to allegedly facilitate the diversion of public money going to Instituto Nóos.

Investigators are also looking into the 2.3 million euros the Balearic government paid Instituto Nóos in 2005 and 2006 to organise conferences on sports and tourism.

Yesterday, the then President of the Balearic government, Jaume Matas, who is also facing a series of alleged charges of fraud, said that he had had nothing to do with the institute and that the investigation should be handed over to the Supreme Court.

The royal household has issued a statement expressing “absolute respect” for the actions of the judiciary.
Iñaki Urdangarin wed Princess Cristina in October 1997. The couple and their four children now live in Washington, where the duke is an executive with Spanish telecom giant Telefonica.


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