Spanish king's son-in-law makes court appearance

  • Associated Press
  • February 23, 2013 - 3:17 AM

PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain - The Spanish king's son-in-law arrived at court Saturday to be questioned by a judge about allegations he and a partner funneled millions of euros to companies they controlled.

Inaki Urdangarin — the Duke of Palma — who has not been charged with a crime, made his way into the building amid tense street scenes where a contingent of around 170 police kept noisy protesters away from the courthouse.

Urdangarin — facing his second appearance in court — did not stop to say anything to the crowd, but wished some 100 journalists accredited to cover the event a curt "good morning."

He has been called to answer questions at a courthouse on this Mediterranean island about whether he used his high-profile status to secure lucrative deals for a nonprofit foundation he ran and then fraudulently diverted money for personal gain.

The investigation into the alleged financial misdeeds has deeply embarrassed the monarchy in a country hard hit by a financial crisis and sky-high unemployment.

It ranks among the worst public relations mishaps the royal household has experienced in the 37-year reign of King Juan Carlos.

Judge Jose Castro was set to question Urdangarin about three alleged offenses against the Treasury, including corporate tax fraud related to his foundation and matters linked to his personal income tax returns.

As stated in the writ of summons, the judge also intends to ask about alleged bank accounts in tax havens such as Andorra, Luxembourg and Switzerland.

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