Skip to main content

Spanish duke subpoenaed in corruption case

By Catherine E. Shoichet, CNN
updated 10:29 AM EST, Fri December 30, 2011
Inaki Urdangarin, the Duke of Palma de Mallorca, is a former Olympic handball player.
Inaki Urdangarin, the Duke of Palma de Mallorca, is a former Olympic handball player.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • A Spanish court says Inaki Urdangarin must testify on February 6
  • A statement from the court names him as a defendant, but does not specify charges
  • The corruption case has brought increased scrutiny to Spain's royal family
  • Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player, is married to the king's youngest daughter

(CNN) -- A judge subpoenaed the Spanish king's son-in-law Thursday in a corruption case that has drawn increased scrutiny to the royal family.

Inaki Urdangarin, the Duke of Palma de Mallorca, must testify on February 6, a Spanish court said in a statement.

The case, widely reported in Spanish media for weeks, has fueled public criticism of the royal family. Thursday's statement from the Balearic Islands Superior Court of Justice formally named Urdangarin as a defendant, but did not specify charges against him.

According to media reports, authorities have been investigating whether a foundation headed by Urdangarin improperly used public funds.

Mario Pascual Vives, an attorney representing Urdangarin, told reporters Thursday that his client is "absolutely innocent."

Vives said Urdangarin, who lives in Washington, was on a skiing trip in the United States and had not spoken with him about the case since the court's announcement Thursday.

Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player, married the Spanish king's youngest daughter in 1997.

The corruption allegations have brought increased scrutiny to the monarchy as Spain faces a nationwide economic crisis.

The court's announcement came a day after Spain's royal family publicly revealed its finances for the first time in an effort to boost public confidence and transparency.

An 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, according to Gerardo Correas of the International School of Protocol in Madrid.

A large round of applause greeted the king at an inauguration ceremony for the new legislature earlier this week, Correas said.

But many Spaniards were still buzzing over the political scandal -- with some asking whether other members of the royal family were connected to, or aware of, Urdangarin's business dealings.

"The debate continues in the street and will continue for a long time," Correas said.

CNN's Ana Maria Luengo-Romero and Miguel Angel Antonanzas contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 10:26 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Advocates say the exam includes unnecessarily invasive and irrelevant procedures -- like a so-called "two finger" test.
updated 7:09 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Supplies of food, clothing and fuel are running short in Damascus and people are going hungry as the civil war drags on.
updated 1:01 PM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
Supporters of Richard III want a reconstruction of his head to bring a human aspect to a leader portrayed as a murderous villain.
updated 10:48 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Robert Fowler spent 130 days held hostage by the same al Qaeda group that was behind the Algeria massacre. He shares his experience.
updated 12:07 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
As "We are the World" plays, a video shows what looks like a nuclear attack on the U.S. Jim Clancy reports on a bizarre video from North Korea.
The relationship is, once again, cold enough to make Obama's much-trumpeted "reset" in Russian-U.S. relations seem thoroughly off the rails.
Ten years on, what do you think the Iraq war has changed in you, and in your country? Send us your thoughts and experiences.
updated 7:15 AM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Musician Daniela Mercury has sold more than 12 million albums worldwide over a career span of nearly 30 years.
Photojournalist Alison Wright travelled the world to capture its many faces in her latest book, "Face to Face: Portraits of the Human Spirit."
updated 7:06 PM EST, Tue February 5, 2013
Europol claims 380 soccer matches, including top level ones, were fixed - as the scandal widens, CNN's Dan Rivers looks at how it's done.
updated 7:37 AM EST, Wed February 6, 2013
That galaxy far, far away is apparently bigger than first thought. The "Star Wars" franchise will get two spinoff movies, Disney announced.
updated 7:27 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
It's an essential part of any trip, an activity we all take part in. Yet almost none of us are any good at it. Souvenir buying is too often an obligatory slog.
ADVERTISEMENT