(Adds testimony that Urdangarin's wife also not involved in Noos activities, includes new charges)


The son-in-law of Spanish King Juan Carlos, Iñaki Urdangarin, testified Saturday that the royal household never authorized or endorsed the business operations of his non-profit Noos Institute, adding that his wife, the Infanta Cristina, took no part in the activities of the foundation which presumably embezzled millions of euros in public funds.

The ex-Olympic handball player, married to the youngest daughter of the monarch since 1997, added that, to the contrary, the royal household recommended that he put a halt to his activities at Noos - referring to allegations he embezzled millions of euros after using his connections to obtain lucrative, no-bid public contracts for the foundation - because it considered them beneath his institutional status.

The husband of the Infanta Cristina, the king's youngest daughter, said he heeded that advice.

In his statement Saturday, Undangarin also denied that a meeting ever took place at the Zarzuela Palace, the residence of the royal family, to prepare the Valencia Summit, one of the events organized by Noos and from which the foundation allegedly extracted millions of euros in public funds.

The son-in-law of King Juan Carlos also denied having Swiss bank accounts under false names.

Urdangarin referred to e-mails delivered recently to Judge Castro by his ex-business partner at Noos, Diego Torres - also implicated in the corruption case - in which he tried to link the royal family to the scandal.

"In that regard, I declare that the royal household did not offer opinions, advise, authorize or endorse the activities that I carried out at the Noos Foundation," Urdangarin said.

The investigating magistrate is probing the alleged diversion of public funds from the regional governments of the Balearic Islands and Valencia to the non-profit sports foundation headed by Urdangarin and Torres.

Of all the members on the Noos board of directors, the Infanta Cristina is the only one not facing charges in this case. EFE