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Spain prosecutors: Princess Cristina shouldn't be suspect in Noos case

SPAIN MONARCHY | 03 de abril de 2013

Spain's Princess Cristina (left) and her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin. EFE/File

Madrid, Apr 3 (EFE).- Spanish prosecutors said Wednesday they will challenge a judge's decision to name Princess Cristina, the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos, as a suspect Wednesday in a corruption case involving the Noos Foundation, which was run by her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin.

In an unprecedented move, Judge Jose Castro ordered Cristina to give a statement on April 27.

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 foundation.

Statements given by Urdangarin's former business partner, Diego Torres, e-mails and the statement from royal secretary Carlos Garcia Revenga 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, the court said.

Garcia Revenga, who served as secretary to Cristina and her older sister, Princess Elena, was designated in January as a suspect in the case.

Following Castro's ruling on Wednesday, the office of the anti-corruption prosecutor said it would appeal, insisting it found no evidence that the princess had any connection to Noos.

Through a spokesman, the royal household expressed surprise 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 decision.

Urdangarin, a 45-year-old former Olympics handball player, has been under investigation as a suspect since December 2011.

He told the court on Feb. 23 that the royal household played no role in the activities carried out by the non-profit Noos Foundation.

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