Friday, 17 February 2017

BREAKING NEWS: Infanta Cristina of Spain not guilty

Cristina de Borbon, acquitted of tax fraud
(photo Casa Real press)

Infanta Cristina has been found not guilty of tax fraud. The Infanta, sister of King Felipe VI and daughter of King Juan Carlos I faces a fine of 265,000 euros after a trial lasting over a year.  Her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, has been found guilty and sentenced to six years in prison.

It brings to an end this part of a scandal which first reached boiling point in 2012 when Inaki Urdangarin was placed under investigation on suspicion of fraud. However, there will be appeals at some point.

The couple’s trial began in January 2016 in Palma de Mallorca following several years of investigation. They were in the dock with fifteen other defendants. The charges relate to the Noos Institute, a not for profit sports foundation run by Inaki Urdangarin. The investigation centred on whether this foundation had been used to win falsely inflated contracts from regional government bodies, mostly in the Balearic Islands and Valencia, and looked at whether this money had been sent to personal accounts through tax havens. The amount of money involved was put at 6 million euros.

Infanta Cristina is the second child and younger daughter of King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain. She was born in Madrid on June 13th 1965 and was once a hugely popular member of Spain’s royal family. She married Inaki Urdangarin on October 4th 1997 in Barcelona and was made Duchess of Palma de Mallorca for life on her wedding day by her father. In 2015, she lost that title – she claimed she had given it up voluntarily but the Royal Household said King Felipe had stripped her of it.

At the height of the corruption scandal, Cristina and her family moved to Geneva in Switzerland. It’s not yet known where they will live following this decision but their lives have changed forever. There has been no reaction, as yet, from King Felipe who is hosting the President of Hungary today but the Royal Household issued a brief comment saying it had 'total respect for the independence of the judiciary'.

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