ROYAL SCANDAL

Urdangarin faces day in court amid intense public interest

King's son-in-law to testify on Saturday in Palma

/ Madrid / Palma de Mallorca 24 FEB 2012 - 21:09 CET

Iñaki Urdangarin, the king’s son-in-law, will testify at 9am on Saturday morning in a Palma de Mallorca court over his involvement in a corruption case known as Palma Arena.

Urdangarin, whose Nóos Institute is believed to have siphoned off over five million euros from public contracts for sports and tourism events, will be arriving at the courthouse by car, not on foot as initially planned. But EL PAÍS has learned that the royal consort may finally renounce this privilege, depending on the situation at the courthouse, where people are expected to gather due to the high-profile nature of the case.

Princess Cristina traveled with her husband from Madrid on Friday to provide emotional support, although she is not expected to show up at the courthouse.

Urdangarin is expected to address the media at some point on Saturday, and his defense will distribute a written press release.

Investigating Judge José Castro had decided that Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball champion, who met the princess at the Atlanta Games, should arrive at the courthouse in a car “strictly due to security reasons.” The police have warned that it would be risky for him to arrive on foot and cover the 30 meters between the courtyard entrance and the door of the building, even though this area is off limits to the public.

Two street protests have been called at the same time near the courthouse by leftist and pro-independence youth groups.

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