Spain’s Princess Cristina could face criminal trial

Sister of new king named as suspect in corruption investigation

Princess Cristina, the sister of Spain’s newly installed King Felipe VI, has been formally named as a suspect in a corruption investigation

Princess Cristina, the sister of Spain’s newly installed King Felipe VI, has been formally named as a suspect in a corruption investigation

Thu, Jun 26, 2014, 01:00

Princess Cristina, the sister of Spain’s newly installed King Felipe VI, has been formally named as a suspect in a corruption investigation, and could face a criminal trial.

In his summary of the case, revealed yesterday, investigating judge José Castro asserted there was enough evidence for the princess (49), sixth in line to the throne, to face charges of money-laundering and tax fraud.

The inquiry, which started in 2011, has focused on the business dealings of the husband of the princess, Iñaki Urdangarin. Investigators accuse him of embezzling about €6 million in public funds from a charity which he used to head. They claim he channelled much of this money into a private company, Aizoon, co-owned by him and Princess Cristina.

Personal expenses

The princess, they charge, used money from the company for personal expenses such as dance classes and birthday parties for her children. The company is also accused of tax fraud.

“Cristina de Borbón actively co-operated with Iñaki Urdangarin in the irregularities which were being committed in the heart of the company Aizoon,” reads the investigation summary.

As well as the royal couple, 14 other people, including several regional politicians, have been named as suspects in the case.

The announcement comes just six days after the princess’s younger brother, Felipe, took the throne, following the sudden abdication of Juan Carlos I.

The final years of the latter’s reign were blighted by scandals, particularly that involving the princess and his son-in-law.

On taking the throne on June 19th, King Felipe (46) suggested that he intended to improve the flagging image of the monarchy, declaring that his new role required “a conduct that is upright, honest and transparent”.

The princess could still avoid going to trial if an anticipated appeal against the decision is successful.