Spain’s Princess Cristina to be tried over tax fraud
Madrid, Dec 22: A Spanish judge on Monday ordered the king’s sister, Princess Cristina, to be tried along with her husband on charges of tax fraud.
Cristina will be the first member of the country’s royal family to face charges in court since the monarchy was restored in 1975.
Issuing the indictment, Judge Jose Castro went against a prosecutor’s Dec. 9 recommendation that Cristina should be fined and only her husband, Olympic handball medalist turned businessman Inaki Urdangarin, should be tried.
He set bail for her at 2.7 million euros ($3.3 million) and 15 million euros for her husband. If convicted, the 49-year-old Princess could face up to four years in prison.
The case centers on allegations that Urdangarin used his Duke of Palma title to embezzle about 6 million euros ($7.4 million) in public contracts through the Noos Institute, a nonprofit foundation he had set up with a business partner that channeled money to other businesses, including Aizoon.
Cristina’s lawyers have said she is innocent. Prosecutor Pedro Horrach recommended charges for Urdangarin carrying a possible sentence of 19½ years in prison while saying Cristina should not be indicted but ordered to pay to pay 580,000 euros ($711,000) to cover the amount she could have benefited from because of her husband’s dealings.
The case will probably go to trial at the end of 2015 in Palma de Mallorca in Spain‘s Balearic Islands, where most of the alleged offenses occurred.
Cristina’s brother Felipe, 46, became king in June as his father Juan Carlos abdicated after a four-decade reign.
The Oslo Times