NÓOS CASE

King’s son-in-law to testify against former business partner behind closed doors

Duke of Palma in court Tuesday in privacy suit over leaked emails

Diego Torres after testifying in the Nóos case in Palma last week. / JAIME REINA (AFP)

The king's son-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarin, who is under investigation for alleged financial crimes, has been granted his wish to testify behind closed doors. Urdangarin, the Duke of Palma, is due in court Tuesday to testify as a witness in a suit filed against his former business partner, Diego Torres, over emails given to the investigating judge concerning the duke's private affairs.

In April, magistrates barred Torres and seven media outlets from publishing emails concerning the duke's private life or from commenting on their content. Judge María del Remei Vergés upheld Urdangarin's petition because the object of the lawsuit is precisely "the protection" of the basic right to privacy. The magistrate added that the proceedings were "of no general public interest" as they will merely deal with issues such as preventive measures.

However, Urdangarin will not enjoy any particular privileges and will have to enter the Barcelona court through the front door, where a large protest by justice sector workers against cutbacks and corruption is expected, along with a media scrum. Neither will the duke receive a special security detail, as is the norm for members of the royal family.

Urdangarin and his former partner Torres face charges of alleged fraud, embezzlement and money-laundering for issuing inflated invoices to regional administrations for sports and tourism events though the duke's non-profit Nóos Institute, before siphoning the funds to their private concerns.

Princess Cristina, the duke's wife, has also been implicated in the case but was spared the dock on the advice of the public prosecutor.

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