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Princess Cristina (right) © Pan American Health Organization PAHO

Princess Cristina acquitted in tax fraud case

17/02/17Government

Princess Cristina, the sixth in line to the Spanish throne, has been cleared in a tax fraud case.

The sister of King Felipe VI had been accused of helping her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, to evade taxes. Despite her acquittal, a Majorca court has ordered that she pay a €265,000 fine in light of her ‘civil responsibility’.

Her husband has meanwhile been sentenced to six years and three months in jail after being found guilty of embezzlement, fraud and other charges. He has also been ordered to pay a fine of more than €500,000.

Urdangarin, a businessman and former Olympic handball player, was accused of exploiting his title to win contracts from regional government bodies for his non-profit, the Nóos Institute, to stage sporting events. He then allegedly used the money to fund his extravagant lifestyle.

In total, he and former business partner Diego Torres were accused of embezzling over €6m of public money.

Princess Cristina is the first member of the Spanish royal family to have gone on trial since the monarchy’s restoration in 1975.

The scandal has done little to help King Felipe’s efforts to restore his family’s tarnished reputation among the Spanish public.

In 2015, just one year after ascending to the throne, he stripped both Princess Cristina and her husband of their titles as duke and duchess of Palma de Mallorca in light of the accusations.

Both she and Urdangarin have denied any wrongdoing.

Pan European Networks Ltd