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Spain's Princess Cristina acquitted in tax fraud trial

17 February 2017, 04:29 | Taylor George

Urdangarin, a businessman and former Olympic handball player, was accused of taking advantage of his connections to win inflated public contracts to stage sporting and other events and then siphoning off the proceeds.

Princess Cristina, the older sister of Spain's King Felipe VI, was cleared of all charges in a major corruption trial on Friday, but her husband was sentenced to over six months in jail by a Spanish court.

Cristina's husband, Inaki Urdangarin, was sentenced to over six years in prison on charges including fraud and tax evasion.

The princess will have to pay as much as 265,088 euros because of responsibilities related to how she benefited from her husband's dealings, the court said.

Cristina is charged with two counts of being an accessory to tax fraud and, if found guilty, could face up to four years in prison for each charge.

The investigation heightened the impression among Spaniards that the royal family was out of touch with ordinary people just as Spain was suffering its worst recession of modern times.

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Neither Cristina nor her husband were in court for Friday's verdict.

Some of the funds were transferred to a private company which paid for personal family items such as vacations, home furnishings and theater tickets.

A lawyer with Cristina's defense team, Miquel Roca, said that the princess was "satisfied for the acknowledgement of her innocence" but that she was still convinced that her husband wasn*t guilty. He was accused of overcharging for the events and hiding the proceeds overseas.

Noos is alleged to have received more than €6m (£4.4m; $6.5m) of public money, most of it from the Balearic Islands and Valencia regional governments.

The couple's multimillion-euro mansion has been impounded by the courts and Cristina was notably absent from ceremonies marking Felipe's ascension to the throne in June 2014. King Juan Carlos I abdicated in 2014 under pressure for, among other things, going on an elephant hunting trip to Botswana.

Both Cristina and Urdangarin have fallen from grace since they married in 1997 in a lavish ceremony in Barcelona and were bestowed the titles of Duke and Duchess of Palma by Juan Carlos.



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