NÓOS SCANDAL

Urdangarin runs gauntlet of jeering protesters as he returns to court

Princess Cristina’s husband seeks to have gag on private emails remain in place

Royal son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin leaves a Barcelona court on Tuesday after a hearing on a private suit. / Andreu Dalmau (EFE)

Iñaki Urdangarin, the son-in-law of King Juan Carlos, returned to the law courts on Tuesday, but this time in connection with a private suit he has filed against his former partner at the non-profit Nóos Institute, Diego Torres. Both the royal and Torres are facing charges of fraud and misappropriation for syphoning off millions of euros in public funds paid for the organization of events.

Urdangarin’s suit concerns emails given to the investigating judge and the media by Torres concerning his private affairs.

Magistrates have already barred Torres and seven media outlets from publishing any further documents concerning Urdangarin’s private life.

A judge had already agreed to Urdangarin’s request for Tuesday’s hearing to be held behind closed doors given that his suit concerns the right to privacy and “lacked public interest.”

The husband of Princess Cristina was greeted by a noisy group of legal workers in the public sector, who were protesting against spending cuts, when he arrived just before 9am at the doors of Barcelona court where his suit is being heard. He was also subject to jeers by some within the crowd carrying placards against the Spanish royal family, one of which read: “The Borbon, corrupt and a thief.”

While the hearing was held behind closed doors, Urdangarin was obliged to enter the court through the front door amid heavy security arrangements. Torres, accompanied by his lawyer, appeared 25 minutes later.

Tuesday’s hearing was precisely to decide whether the gag placed on Torres and the media on publishing emails between himself and Urdangarin should remain in place.

Urdangarin left the court building shortly after 11am without making any comments to the media scrum waiting outside.

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