ROYAL SCANDAL

Judge targets Princess Cristina in Nóos corruption probe

Royal daughter’s husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, is accused along with partner of fraudulently obtaining millions in public funds

File photo of Princess Cristina and Iñaki Urdangarin taken in November 2012. / Sergio Barrenechea (EFE)

Over a year after her husband Iñaki Urdangarin became the object of a fraud investigation, Princess Cristina has been formally named as a suspect by the judge in charge of the probe.

The princess has been ordered to appear before Judge José Castro on April 27 due to her status as a director of the non-profit Nóos Institute, through which Urdangarin, the Duke of Palma, allegedly siphoned off millions in public funds to private companies, among them Aizoon, of which the princess is a co-proprietor.

The public anti-corruption prosecutor said he would appeal against the decision as he found no basis to suspect the princess's involvement, a position the judge initially also adopted.

Cristina's summons is the culmination of the strategy of Urdangarin's erstwhile partner, Diego Torres, who has been feeding the judge emails for the past year. Among these are messages between the royal couple concerning Nóos Institute business and some boasting about the king's influence in drumming up sponsors for the sports tourism events organized through the organization.

The infanta has been summoned to appear in court on April 27

The private secretary to the royal daughters, Carlos Revenga, has also been summoned to appear in court as a suspect, while the Zarzuela Palace's legal advisor has been called as a witness.

The Royal Household initially refused to comment on the development but later Wednesday issued a statement expressing its "surprise" at the judge's volte face, and also its "absolute agreement" with the prosecutor's aim to keep Princess Cristina from taking the stand.

 

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