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Princess to sell mansion to pay court bond

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Princess to sell mansion to pay court bond
Photo: Barcelonarent.info/Prestige Real Easte
16:16 CET+01:00
A Spanish court on Thursday authorised Princess Cristina, the sister of Spain's King Felipe VI, and her husband to sell their seven-bedroom Barcelona mansion for just under €7 million ($8 million) to pay a court bond.

Cristina, 49, and her husband, former Olympic handball player Iñaki Urdangarin, 46, are facing trial in one of Spain's longest-running corruption scandals.

She is charged with two counts of being an accessory to tax fraud in connection with her husband's business affairs. 

Urdangarin and his former business partner are accused of siphoning off €6 million in public funds meant for sports events. He has been charged with embezzlement, tax fraud and influence peddling.

The money was allegedly placed in the non-profit Noos Institute, which Urdangarin chaired from 2004 to 2006 and of which Cristina was a board member, for it to organise sports events.

A court in Majorca which is leading the investigation into the case in November 2013 ordered the seizure of properties owned by Urdangarin to help cover a €6.1 million bond for his and an associate's liability in the case.

The court authorised the sale of the couple's mansion, which has panoramic views of Barcelona, sprawling gardens and a salt water pool, for €6.95 million, below the over €8 million which the property is said to have cost them.

Cristina and her husband bought the 1,000-square-metre (10,700-square-foot) home in the exclusive Pedralves area of Barcelona, which has 10 bathrooms and an elevator, in 2004, leading to questions about how it was paid for.

They put it up for sale in 2013 for €9.8 million before it was seized by the court.

Since 2013, Cristina and her family have been living in Geneva where she works for Catalan finance group Caixabank.

The couple's lawyers say they are innocent of any wrongdoing. No date for a trial has been set.

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