King of Spain Suspends Son-in-Law

Duke accused of scamming nonprofit organization
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2011 3:52 AM CST
King of Spain Suspends Son-in-Law
The Duchess of Palma de Mallorca, right, stands with her husband Inaki Urdangari before cutting the ribbon to officially open the new Salvador Dali museum in St. Petersburg, Fla. earlier this year.   (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

The king of Spain has barred his scandal-hit son-in-law from representing the crown while allegations of corruption are considered. Inaki Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player who married the king's daughter, is accused of siphoning of millions of dollars in public funds from a nonprofit sporting foundation he ran, the Guardian reports. Urdangarin—the Duke of Palma—allegedly inflated bills and redirected the cash to private companies he ran.

Urdangarin, who lives in Washington, DC, with his wife and four children, has not yet been charged with any crime. His royal status allows him to give evidence in writing instead of in person, but many want to see him treated the same as any other Spaniard. "The story is always the same," a prominent lawyer says. "Public bodies hand over large sums of money with virtually no control to the foundation presided over by Mr. Urdangarin on the basis of his person and family connections, motived by the fact that to do business in Spain it is important who you know rather than what you know." (More Spain stories.)

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