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Spanish duke subpoenaed in fraud case

Feb. 24, 2012 at 7:50 PM

MADRID, Feb. 24 (UPI) -- The husband of Spain's Princess Cristina will be the first royal in the country's modern history to appear in court as part of a fraud investigation.

Inaki Urdangarin, 44, a commoner who became duke of Palma after a 1997 marriage, was subpoenaed by a judge investigating whether he and his business partners channeled millions of dollars in public funds into private companies, The New York Times reported Friday. He will appear in court Saturday.

Carmen Enriquez, national television's royal correspondent for nearly two decades, said the investigation has hurt the image of the monarchy.

"This is an unprecedented case," she said. "Whatever the judge ultimately decides, the impact on the royal family is significant, especially since there are already elements in society, politics and the media in this country who don't want to maintain the monarchy."

Urdangarin had been asked to no longer represent the crown in public duties in December because of the scandal.

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