Spanish judge probes firm once run by king's son-in-law

9th November 2011, Comments 0 comments

A Spanish judge is probing a company that was once run by King Juan Carlos' son-in-law Inaki Urdangarin for alleged corruption, according to a court document seen Wednesday.

The company, Instituto Noos, is suspected of being used to milk the regional government of the Balearic Islands where it is based, said a search warrant for the premises of the firm seen by AFP.

Judge Jose Castro approved a request by prosecutors to search the Instituto Noos premises on Monday.

The investigation centres on a payment of 2.3 million euros ($3.2 million) to Instituto Noos for organising the Balearic Islands Forum, a conference on tourism and sports, which took place in 2005 and 2006.

Urdangarin, a 43-year-old retired handball player whose title is the Duke of Palma de Mallorca, was president of the firm between 2004 and 2006.

Public prosecutors suspected the company of padding bills to the regional government and then diverting the extra money to firms run by Urdangarin and his successor Diego Torres, the warrant said.

Urdangarin married Infanta Cristina, the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, in Barcelona in October 1997. The couple have four children.

As a member of the Spanish national handball team, he took part in the 1992, 1996, and 2000 Summer Olympics, serving as team captain in 2000.

© 2011 AFP

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