Inaki Urdangarin, the duke of Palma and son-in-law to the King of Spain, was questioned by a judge in Mallorca under allegations of misuse of public funds donated to a his charitable foundation totaling the millions of euros range. The royal family is shrouded in a cloud of embarrassment. While no formal charges have been filed against Urdangarin and he maintains his innocence the duke was called in for questioning twice behind closed doors. The Spanish media was excluded from the questioning, but the Duke released a statement creating distance between the allegations and the King. He has made it very clear that the palace did not endorse or authorize any actions he has taken with the Noos Institute, the nonprofit in question.
The duke was relieved of his royal engagements in December 2012 after reports surfaced that he and his business partner Diego Torres were tapping funds given to the Noos Institute by regional governments to sponsor sports events. Urdangarin is a former Olympic handball player himself. His wife is the King Juan Carlos’ oldest daughter Cristina Carlos. The prosecution claims that between 2004 and 2006, the duke was involved in moving money to his private companies and offshore banking accounts. Critics of the Spanish monarchy, and anticorruption campaigners are pushing for the judge to formally declare Princess Cristina a suspect, while the royal family tries to separate itself from the scandal. However, emails between Juan Carlos and Urdangarin show that the king was interested in the duke’s business affairs, suggesting a possible connection. Some politicians have called on Juan Carlos to abdicate the throne amid Spain’s flailing economy, but Carlos stands strong as the king who navigated the transition to democracy after Franco’s dictatorship.