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Monday, January 11, 2016

Spain’s Princess Cristina on trial for fraud

Princess Cristina of Spain has become the first member of the country’s royal family to be put on trial as she was charged as an accomplice in a fraud case, the BBC is reporting.
Princess Cristina of Spain
Princess Cristina of Spain
The suit involves her husband and 16 other defendants. Princess Cristina, 50, faces up to eight years in jail if convicted.
Many see the trail which will be held in Majorca as an embarrassment for the royal family.
Her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, and others were accused of using non-profit Noos Institute sports foundation as a conduit to win inflated contracts from regional government before transferring the money to their personal accounts via tax havens.
Noos is alleged to have received more than €6m (£4.4m; $6.5m) of public money, most of it from the Balearic Islands and Valencia regional governments.
If found guilty, Urdangarin could face 19 years and six months in jail.
All the accused pleaded not guilty.
The charges:
  • Princess Cristina is charged with being an accomplice to tax fraud, relating to the financial years 2007 and 2008. The private prosecution accusing her wants a jail sentence of eight years
  • Inaki Urdangarin is accused of using the Noos Institute and associated companies to embezzle public funds amounting to €5.6m and is also accused of fraud, influence peddling and money laundering, among other offences. The public prosecutor wants a jail sentence of 19.5 years for the king’s brother-in-law
  • There are 16 other defendants in the case, including Diego Torres, Mr Urdangarin’s former partner at Noos, and Jaume Matas, a former government minister and former chief of the Balearic Islands regional government
  • Mr Torres could face more than 16 years in jail on similar charges to Mr Urdangarin, while Mr Matas could face 11 years, having already served a nine-month term for corruption
Source: The BBC