Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013

Spanish princess dragged into corruption case

Princess Cristina

Princess Cristina

Spain’s Princess Cristina has been summoned to testify as a suspect in a corruption case, a judicial source said yesterday, dealing a damaging blow to the prestige of the royal family including her father King Juan Carlos.
It is the first time a member of the Spanish royal family has been called to appear in a court of law on suspicion of wrongdoing.
The 47-year-old princess must testify on suspicion of influence peddling on April 27 at the court in Palma on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca, the judicial source said on condition of anonymity.
The case, which was opened at the end of 2011, is centred on allegations of embezzlement and influence peddling against her husband, former Olympic handball player Inaki Urdangarin, and his former business partner, Diego Torres.
The pair are suspected of syphoning off money paid by regional governments to stage sports and tourism events to the non-profit Noos Institute, which Urdangarin chaired from 2004 to 2006.
Until now, the princess had avoided being dragged formally into the case, although accusations had been mounting up against her.
The summons by Judge Jose Castro will be seen as extremely damaging to the royal family, already slumping in the popularity polls.