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Princess Cristina of Spain Acquitted in Tax Fraud Trial. Inaki Urdangarin Given 6 Years in Jail


Princess Cristina of Spain has been cleared in a tax fraud trial.

The 51-year-old is the older sister of King Felipe and sixth in line to Spain’s throne.

Her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, was given a 6-year-and-three-month jail term by the court in Majorca.

Inaki Urdangarin, 49, was accused of using his royal connections to generate business income used for private spending.

The case began in 2010 and became symbolic of perceived corruption among Spain’s elites, including the royals.

There were 16 other defendants in the case, including former government minister Jaume Matas, who was sentenced to three years and eight months.

Inaki Urdangarin’s former business partner, Diego Torres, was given 8 years and six months. Nine defendants in all were acquitted.

Princess Cristina, who now lives in Switzerland, was the first member of Spain’s royal family to go on trial since the monarchy’s restoration in 1975.

In 2015, King Felipe VI stripped her and her husband of their titles as Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca.

Although Princess Cristina was absolved, she will still have to pay a fine of €265,000 ($282,000) as she has civil responsibility for benefiting, albeit unknowingly, from illegal gains.

Princess Cristina and Inaki Urdangarin were not in court for the verdict, which is subject to appeal. Both had denied wrongdoing.


The princess had been accused of being an accessory to tax fraud.

Public prosecutors had declined to press charges against Princess Cristina but the three judges agreed to continue with the prosecution using evidence filed by the anti-corruption group Manos Limpias, meaning “Clean Hands”.

Last March, Princess Cristina told the court that her husband was in charge of family finances, saying: “I didn’t get involved in that.”

Inaki Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball medalist, had faced a slew of more serious charges.

He was accused of using the non-profit Noos Institute sports foundation he ran as a vehicle to win falsely inflated contracts from regional government bodies, before channeling the money to personal accounts via tax havens.

Noos is alleged to have received more than €6 million ($6.5 million) of public money, most of it from the Balearic Islands and Valencia regional governments.

One of the companies said to have received money, real estate firm Aizoon, was jointly owned by Princess Cristina and Inaki Urdangarin.