PALMA DE MALLORCA, Spain – A Spanish judge on Friday suspended his summons for Princess Cristina, youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos, in a corruption case after prosecutors challenged the magistrate’s decision to name her as a suspect.
Judge Jose Castro said it would not be appropriate to maintain his order that Cristina appear and give a statement on April 27 in light of the motion by prosecutors.
Spain’s chief anti-corruption prosecutor, Pedro Horrach, traveled to Palma on Friday to file the challenge to Castro’s designation of the princess as a suspect in a corruption case involving her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin.
The judge is investigating allegations that Urdangarin embezzled more than 6 million euros ($7.7 million) after using his connections to obtain lucrative, no-bid public contracts for the Noos Institute, a non-profit foundation he headed for several years.
Urdangarin, a 45-year-old former Olympics handball player, has been under investigation as a suspect since December 2011.
His former business partner, Diego Torres, is also a suspect.
Statements given by Torres, e-mails and testimony from a royal secretary provide “a series of indications” that raise doubts about whether the 47-year-old Princess Cristina was unaware of her husband’s activities at Noos, Judge Castro said in his order earlier this week.
Horrach, however, said the “allegedly incriminating indications” cited by Castro are nothing more than “mere circumstances or personal suspicions.”
Through a spokesman, the royal household expressed surprise Wednesday over the judge’s “change of position” in regard to designating Cristina as a suspect and said it was “absolutely” in accord with prosecutors’ decision to challenge Castro’s ruling.
Barcelona daily La Vanguardia reported Friday that King Juan Carlos has asked Miquel Roca Junyent, one of the fathers of Spain’s 1978 Constitution, to represent Princess Cristina if Castro’s decision to name her as a suspect is upheld. EFE