Spain princess declines to answer fraud questions


As part of an ongoing investigation into potential financial fraud, Spain’s Princess Cristina, sixth in line to the throne, has stood trial, denying wrongdoing both on her part and that of her husband, another prime suspect in the case.

The trial took place on the outskirts of the city of Palma on the Mediterranean island of Majorca in eastern Spain on Thursday.

King Felipe’s 50-year-old sister and her husband, Inaki Urdangarin (shown below), whom the monarch has already stripped of their titles of Duchess and Duke of Palma as the scandal marched into the light, also stood trial in the case in January.

Urdangarin is suspected of embezzling about six million euros ($6.6 million) in public funds through his charity, the Noos Foundation. Some of Noos’ money is also thought to have been channeled to Aizoon, a real estate company co-owned by the two, and used on family expenses.

She is charged with two counts of being an accessory to tax fraud and could face up to eight years in prison. Urdangarin is accused of nine crimes, including fraud and tax evasion, and could face up to about 20 years in jail if found guilty.

In response to her lawyer’s questions during the Thursday trial, the royal claimed she had no knowledge of financial matters. She also declined to answer questions posed by an attorney representing the group that has brought tax fraud charges against her.

She added that her husband handled all their accounts, and that she believed him to be innocent too.

Urdangarin appeared before the prosecutors earlier in the day, saying, “I was not aware of committing any fiscal crime or of any wrongdoing because I have always been advised and my advisers always told me that I was doing the right thing.”

“With four small children, we tried not to talk about work matters,” he also said, trying to distance Christina from any financial discussion but conceded that personal expenses had been billed to Aizoon.



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