Thursday 29 September 2016

Spain's Princess Cristina goes on trial for alleged tax fraud

Published 12/01/2016 | 02:30

Spain's Princess Cristina and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, arrive at court in Palma, Majorca (AP)
Spain's Princess Cristina and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, arrive at court in Palma, Majorca (AP)

Spain's Princess Cristina went on trial yesterday in a landmark criminal case, accused of helping bankroll a lavish lifestyle with funds her husband received from an alleged scheme to embezzle millions from public contracts for conferences and sporting events.

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Cristina and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, said nothing during the proceedings as their lawyers and attorneys for 16 additional defendants argued why their clients should be excluded from the proceedings with charges dropped.

Cristina (50), the sister of King Felipe VI, faces two counts of tax fraud, carrying a maximum prison sentence of eight years, for allegedly failing to declare taxes on personal expenses paid by a real estate company she owned with Urdangarin, an Olympic handball medallist turned businessman.

Her lawyer, Jesus Maria Silva, was joined by a prosecutor and a state attorney representing Spanish tax authorities who said the charges against Cristina should be dropped because officials agreed she committed no crimes and should face at most a fine for tax evasion.

A three-member panel of judges will decide in coming weeks whether to side with her supporters or with an investigative judge who spent four years probing the case and ruled it could go forward.

Irish Independent

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