Spanish duke questioned in corruption case

Royals embarrassed

A judge questioned Spanish King Juan Carlos’s son-in-law Inaki Urdangarin on Saturday in a corruption case that has caused a rare embarrassment for Spain’s royals.

Scores of noisy anti-monarchy protesters demonstrated in the street nearby as Urdangarin, the Duke of Palma, arrived on foot at the high court in Palma, on the island of Majorca, accompanied by his lawyer.

The tall and lanky 44-year-old, a former Olympic handball player, is suspected of embezzling public money paid to a charity that was under his control. He has denied any wrongdoing.

“I am appearing today to demonstrate my innocence,” the duke, dressed in a black jacket and grey tie, told the waiting media outside the court. “I have carried out my responsibilities and taken decisions correctly and with total transparency,” he added.

In the closed-door hearing that followed, investigating judge Jose Castro questioned the duke over the workings of companies involved in the case, said a court official who asked not to be named.

The case implicating Urdangarin, who is married to the king’s youngest daughter Cristina, is the first major scandal to touch Juan Carlos’s family.

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