STORY: Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said on Wednesday (April 24) he will suspend public duties until next week to decide whether he wants to continue leading the government.

Sanchez made the shocking announcement after a court launched a preliminary investigation into whether his wife, Begona Gomez, committed a crime of influence peddling and corruption in business in her private dealings.

In a letter posted to his X account, Sanchez said he would appear before the media on April 29 to announce his decision.

The court did not provide further details as the case is sealed and preliminary.

But it said it was following a complaint raised by the anti-graft campaign group Manos Limpias - or Clean Hands - whose leader has links to the far-right.

Manos Limpias said Gomez used her influence as the wife of the prime minister to allegedly secure sponsors for a university master's degree course that she ran.

Sanchez said the seriousness of the attacks against him and his wife merited a measured response.

He said his wife would cooperate with the investigation and defend her innocence.

Sanchez attended a parliament session earlier on Wednesday, where he told lawmakers after the court's announcement that he had faith in the justice system.

He also took aim at the opposition leaders of People's Party and the far-right Vox party, saying they (quote) "collaborated" with those circulating the claims against his wife.

Sanchez, a known risk-taker, last year called a snap election after his party performed poorly in regional votes.

He forged a controversial deal with smaller parties to govern that included an amnesty for Catalans who were involved in the 2017 independence push.

That decision has further soured an already-polarized political atmosphere and resulted in repeated attacks on him and his party from not only opposition leaders but also the judiciary.