Spanish royal official summoned in graft probe: source

29th January 2013, Comments 0 comments

A court has summoned the secretary to Spain's princesses as a suspect in a corruption investigation that implicates the son-in-law of King Juan Carlos, an official said Tuesday.

The investigating judge issued a summons for Carlos Garcia Revenga, secretary to the king's daughters Elena and Cristina, to be questioned in the case, a court source who asked not to be named told AFP.

Garcia is summoned to appear on February 23 at a court in Palma on the Mediterranean island of Mallorca which is investigating the case, the first major corruption scandal to hit the king's family.

The source said the judge would question Garcia about his links to Cristina's husband Inaki Urdangarin and his involvement in the Noos Institute, a charitable organisation that Urdangarin chaired from 2004 to 2006.

Urdangarin, 45, who became Duke of Palma when he wed Cristina in 1997, is suspected along with his former business partner Diego Torres of syphoning off millions of euros paid by regional governments to Noos for staging sporting and tourism events.

The money allegedly went to for-profit companies and offshore accounts under his control.

The duke, a former Olympic handball player, was questioned by judge Jose Castro in February 2012 and has been called to appear again next month. He has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged with any crime.

Juan Carlos, 75, is widely admired for guiding Spain to democracy after the death of General Francisco Franco in 1975. His image has been damaged by the Urdangarin scandal, however, and the palace has distanced the duke from its official activities.

© 2013 AFP

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