01/05/12 18:03 CET
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The King of Spain’s son-in-law is seeking to make a deal with the prosecution to avoid jail time, after becoming embroiled in a corruption scandal.
Lawyers for Inaki Urdangarin, 44, are negotiating a guilty plea in exchange for no time behind bars and offering to pay the government at least 3.5 million euros in compensation.
Urdangarin denies any wrongdoing.
He told reporters outside the court in Majorca: “I’m here in court to prove my innocence, my honour and my professional activities. During the years in question, I faced my responsabilities. I made decisions in the right way and transparently”.
The former Olympic handball player, who holds the title Duke of Palma, and his former business partner, Diego Torres, are accused of diverting millions of euros of public money meant a non-profit organisation they controlled to private offshore accounts.
Spain’s royal family has increasingly been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
A public coping with austerity and record levels of unemployment found out about the King’s secret elephant-hunting trip last month after he had to be flown back to Madrid for emergency surgery for a broken hip. King Juan Carlos later apologised.
During the same month, the monarch’s 13-year-old grandson accidentally shot himself in the foot.
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