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Court summons Spanish princess in graft probe

Court summons Spanish princess in graft probe
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Madrid: Spain's Princess Cristina has been summoned to appear in court over allegations that her husband misused millions of euros of public money. It...

co2Madrid: Spain's Princess Cristina has been summoned to appear in court over allegations that her husband misused millions of euros of public money. It is reported to be the first court summons for a direct descendant of the Spanish King Juan Carlos. She is his youngest daughter.

Her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, denies wrongdoing and has not been charged. He is suspected of having massively overcharged local authorities for organising sporting events. It is alleged that some of the money ended up in companies controlled by Inaki Urdangarin - who is the Duke of Palma and a former Olympic handball player - in offshore bank accounts.

The events allegedly happened between 2004 and 2006, when the duke stepped down as head of the non-profit Noos Institute. He and his former business partner Diego Torres are suspected of misusing millions of euros in public funds that were given to the institute - a charitable foundation.

Princess Cristina has been asked to appear in court in Palma de Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands, on April 27. Emails have come to light suggesting that the princess knew about her husband's financial affairs, Spain's El Pais newspaper reported.

Anti-corruption campaigners have urged the judge to formally name Princess Cristina as a suspect, alleging that she may also have been involved. Emails published by Spanish newspapers in February also appear to show that King Juan Carlos took a close interest in his son-in-law's business affairs.

Support for the royal family has diminished in recent years, amid criticism that is out of touch with ordinary Spaniards as they struggle with a severe economic crisis. The duke was suspended from official royal engagements in December.

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