Spain's Princess Cristina cleared of corruption charges

Spain's Princess Cristina acquitted in tax fraud trial
Spanish princess found not guilty, husband sentenced to six years for embezzlement
Author

20 February, 2017

Although the younger sister of the King, Cristina de Borbon, was absolved of charges against her, she will have to pay a fine of 263,000 euros (280,000 USA dollars) jointly with her husband Urdangarin.

Inaki Urdangarin - the monarch's brother-in-law - was convicted by the Mallorca court of perversion of justice, embezzlement, fraud, influence peddling and tax fraud.

Urdangarin ran Noos Institute with a partner, Diego Torres, who was sentenced to 8 1/2 years in jail in Friday's ruling.

Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player, was sentenced on charged related to using his royal connections to generate business income for private spending.

The case, which was heard by a court in Palma, sullied the reputation of the royal household and became a symbol of perceived corruption among Spain's elites.

Although she was absolved, Princess Cristina will still have to pay a fine of €265,000 (£227,000; $282,000) as she has civil responsibility.

A lawyer with Cristina's defense team, Miquel Roca, said the princess was "satisfied for the acknowledgement of her innocence" but she was still convinced that her husband wasn*t guilty.

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After her 1997 fairytale marriage to Urdangarin, Princess Cristina was constantly in the celebrity spotlight and won praise for having a salaried job.

In 2004 they purchased a 1,200-square-metre house for $6.3-million in Barcelona, with centre-right daily El Mundo asking: "Where is the money coming from?" He abdicated in 2014 in favor of his son.

Since the scandal erupted, the pair have been excluded from all of the family's official public appearances. The sentence is well below the more than 19 years prosecutors had asked for and is open to appeal.

The judgement, he added, acts as proof of "the equality of all citizens before the law".

A spokesman told Spanish media that the royal family respected the court's decision.

King Felipe VI on Friday morning smiled as he opened an art exhibition in Madrid.

The couple, reported to be in Geneva, was not present for the verdict.


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