• Spain's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Spanish court refuses to drop case against Princess Cristina
Princess Cristina. Photo: AFP

Spanish court refuses to drop case against Princess Cristina

AFP · 29 Jan 2016, 12:54

Published: 29 Jan 2016 12:54 GMT+01:00

Cristina, 50, is the first Spanish royal in modern times to face prosecution, and her lawyers marshalled a battery of arguments to get the case against her dropped when the trial kicked off on the Mediterranean island of Majorca earlier this month.

The case alleges that her husband, former Olympic handball medallist Inaki Urdangarin, embezzled public funds through a foundation he once chaired. He is also accused of influence peddling, document falsification, money laundering and forgery, among other charges.

Public prosecutors have refused to press charges against Cristina, but under Spanish law private entities can also file criminal complaints, and that is just what anti-graft campaigners "Manos Limpias" - or "Clean Hands" - did.

Cristina's lawyers however cited Spanish jurisprudence which allows the accused to escape trial if the victim of a crime does not back the charges - and in this case the alleged victim is the state.

In a statement, the court in Palma de Majorca said it had rejected these arguments, which means Cristina will continue to stand trial when hearings resume on February 9th and defendants start to testify.

The case involves business dealings by the Noos Institute, a charitable organisation based in Palma which Urdangarin founded and chaired from 2004 to 2006.

The 48-year-old and his former business partner Diego Torres are suspected of embezzling €6.2 million ($6.8 million) in public funds paid by two regional governments to the organisation to stage sporting and other events.

Urdangarin is accused of using his royal connections to secure inflated contracts without competing bids and siphoning off some of the money into Aizoon, a firm he jointly ran with Cristina, to fund a lavish lifestyle.

Story continues below…

The couple are suspected of using Aizoon for personal expenses including work on their mansion in Barcelona, dance lessons and even Harry Potter books, which reduced the firm's taxable profits, according to court filings.

If convicted, Cristina - who has denied knowledge of her husband's activities - faces a jail term of up to eight years. Urdangarin faces more than 19 years in prison.

For more news from Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Spanish resort bans blow-up dolls and novelty willies
A hen party enjoy a night out at a Spanish beach resort. Arcive photo: AFP

The beach town of Mojácar has banned ‘unseemly’ behaviour on its streets in a bid to curb rowdy stag and hen parties.

Archbishop faces lawsuit over 'hate speech' against gays
Archbishop Antonio Cañizares. Photo: Th1979/Wikimedia Commons.

The archbishop of Valencia said modern thinking about gender were the "most insidious and destructive to mankind".

Police hunt macabre 'wolf decapitator' of Asturias
The head of a wolf was left dangling at a roadside in Asturias. Photo: Guardia Civil

Someone is killing wolves and leaving their heads hanging at road junctions in northern Spain.

Spain recoils at yet another botched restoration attempt
The new windows are not to everyone's taste... Screen grab: Atlas España

Locals are not happy about attempts to restore a 17th century local landmark.

'I never look at what I sign,' admits Messi in fraud case
Messi arriving in court in September 2013. Photo: Lluis Gene/AFP

The Barcelona star told a Spanish judge he never looks at the contracts he signs.

Second day of metro strikes brings chaos to Barcelona
File photo of Barcelona Metro. Photo: AFP

Barcelona Metro was slowed further by an accident on the line on Tuesday morning.

Basketball great Pau Gasol could skip Rio over Zika fears
Pau Gasol said he might not go to the Olympic Games in Rio. Photo: AFP

He is considering skipping the Olympic Games in Brazil in August due to fears over the Zika virus.

Six reasons why Benidorm is so much better than you think
Benidorm is simply something special. Photos by Leah Pattem

Leah Pattem thinks everyone should visit Benidorm at least once in their life. Here she explains why you should give Europe's tackiest resort a chance.

Smoking near kids is 'form of abuse': Spanish experts
Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP.

A group of Spanish medical experts warns that given the serious health effects, lighting up around a child could be considered abuse.

Man jailed for driving car with bomb into political party HQ
Police blocked off the streets in 2014 after the man drove his car with an explosive device into the office of the Popular Party. Photo: Gerard Julien/AFP.

An unemployed man who drove a car loaded with a home-made bomb into the Madrid headquarters of Spain's ruling Popular Party was sentenced to five years in jail.

Sponsored Article
Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
Culture
What's on in Spain: June 2016
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Stunning cave paintings found 300 metres below Spain
Travel
Five good reasons why Extremadura should be on your bucket list
Lifestyle
Top Ten: Barcelona's coolest rooftop bars
National
Plane forced to dodge THREE drones to land in Bilbao
National
Spain launches campaign to stop English 'invasion'
Culture
Ten unique Basque words you need to learn right now
National
'It’s time to dig up Franco' say victims of Spain's dictatorship
Lifestyle
'Severe jellyfish stings' end Brit's Spanish swim feat
Sport
5 reasons why Spanish clubs dominate European football
International
Tesco to bring British tea and biscuits to Spanish stores
Culture
Bucket list: 16 brilliant things to do once in your life in Spain
National
Spain's Civil War victims to be exhumed from Franco's tomb
National
Two mums face jail for leaving kids in car to go out drinking
Education
Students at Spanish college forced to take exorcism class
National
Ten superb reasons why you need to visit San Sebastián
Society
Abused wife saved by hiding SOS note in son's homework
National
Look up! Rare meteor shower set to dazzle skies over Spain
Politics
Why Spain is heading for a Groundhog day election
Travel
Ibiza bans drinking in street… and that includes water
National
Expats didn't 'abandon' UK so ALL Brits should get EU vote
Features
What's on in Spain: May 2016
Travel
Discover Spain's breathtaking national parks
3,152
jobs available