Spain’s Princess Cristina found not guilty in tax fraud case

Husband sentenced to more than six years for tax evasion; fraud and other charges

Princess Cristina and her husband Inaki Urdangarin. File photograph: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images

Princess Cristina and her husband Inaki Urdangarin. File photograph: Attila Kisbenedek/AFP/Getty Images

 

A Spanish court has found Princess Cristina not guilty in a tax fraud case, but her husband was convicted and sentenced to more than six years in prison.

The judge ruled that Cristina de Borbón will be required to pay nearly €265,000 in fines for civil responsibility in the case.

Her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, was found guilty of evading taxes, fraud and other charges, and was sentenced to six years and three months in jail.

The trial centred on accusations that Urdangarin used his former title, the Duke of Palma, to embezzle about €6 million in public funds for the non-profit Noos Institute he ran with a partner.

Among the companies they used was Aizoon, a real estate consulting company jointly owned by the princess and Urdangarin.

The fine for the princess came because the court considered that she indirectly benefited from the fraud.

The Noos Institute organised conferences and sports-related events and was run with a partner, Diego Torres, who was sentenced to eight and a half years in Friday’s ruling by a provincial court in Palma de Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands.

A lawyer with Cristina’s defence team, Miquel Roca, said the princess was “satisfied for the acknowledgement of her innocence” but that she was still convinced that her husband was not guilty.

“If we believed in the judicial system when the princess was made to sit in the dock, I think citizens can trust in it when she’s absolved,” Mr Roca told reporters.

A spokesman for the Royal House told Spanish media that the family respected the court’s decision.

AP