Subpoena of Princess Cristina on Urdangarin case suspended

Judge accepts prosecutor’s request for king’s daughter not to be named as suspect

Princess Cristina arrives at her place of work in Barcelona on Friday morning.
Princess Cristina arrives at her place of work in Barcelona on Friday morning. Albert Garcia (EL PAÍS)

The judge handling the investigation into the business affairs of royal son-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin on Friday accepted a petition by the prosecutor’s office to suspend the subpoena of Urdangarin’s wife Princess Cristina to answer questions on the case in court.

Prosecutor Pedro Horrach argued that the justice system should first rule on an appeal by the prosecutor’s office against the implication of the infanta.

Earlier this week, Judge José Castro summonsed Prince Cristina to appear before him on April 27 to clarify her role as a director of the non-profit Nóos Institute, through which her husband Urdangarin allegedly siphoned off millions in public funds to private firms, including Aizoon, which is jointly owned by the princess and her husband.

Constitutional draftsman to defend ‘infanta’

N. J.

One of the fathers of the 1978 Constitution, Miguel Roca, will defend Princess Cristina if the prosecutor's appeal against a subpoena for her to answer questions in the case of the business affairs of her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, is rejected, Roca's legal firm confirmed on Friday.

The request was made by King Juan Carlos, who has kept close ties with the former politician for over 40 years. A high-ranking official at the Royal Household made the request to Roca on Thursday, a day after Judge José Castro named the infanta as a suspect in the investigation into whether Urdangarin and his former partner Diego Torres had siphoned off public funds.

Roca will defend the princess with Jesús María Silva of the legal firm Molins-Silva. Roca said Friday he had already spoken to the infanta but declined to reveal the content of their conversation.

The Royal Household had rejected the idea of Urdangarin's lawyer, personal friend Mario Pascual Vives, also defending the princess.

In his judgment, Horrach argued that it was “discriminatory” to cite the infanta as a suspect on the case based on the evidence that had been gathered in the course of the investigation to date. He said “absolutely nothing” had emerged in the probe to reverse the previous decision not to name her as a suspect in the case.

In order to justify calling off the citation of Princess Cristina, Horrach referred to testimony by Urdangarin’s former partner at Nóos, Diego Torres, on the infanta’s role in the organization. Torres cited things such as her accompanying him and Urdangarin to view a property the Nóos Institute was considering moving its headquarters to.

Horrach said Torres’ testimony had “zero criminal relevance.” The judge also argued that it had not been demonstrated that the personal secretary to the royal daughters, Carlos García Revenga, who also worked for the Nóos Institute, knew that Urdangarin was receiving “privileged treatment” from public administrations.

Torres has been gradually feeding the judge investigating case with emails that include exchanges between the royal couple on Nóos’ business.

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