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Spain's Princess Cristina Acquitted in Tax Fraud Trial - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Spain’s Princess Cristina was cleared on Friday of helping her husband evade taxes after a year-long trial.

The ruling said: “We must acquit and we are acquitting Cristina Federica… of tax fraud, of which she was accused.”

Cristina’s husband, Inaki Urdangarin, was sentenced to over six years in prison on charges including fraud and tax evasion, while the princess was ordered to pay a fine of €265,000 ($282,000) because she had benefited from her husband’s wrongdoing.

The case was heard by a court in the Spanish capital Palma.

King Felipe’s 51-year-old sister and her husband were among 18 defendants in the trial, which followed a probe into a charity run by her husband.

The princess was the first Spanish royal to face criminal charges since the monarchy’s 1975 restoration.

Urdangarin and his former business partner Diego Torres were accused of embezzling about €6m (£4.6m) in public money that was paid to their non-profit organisation, the Nóos Institute, to organise events. Torres was given an eight-year prison term.

Some of the foundation’s money was transferred to a private company and used to pay for family holidays, home furnishings and theatre tickets, prosecutors said.

The couple, who have been married since 1997 and have four children together, went on trial last year along with 15 others, including former government minister Jaume Matas.

Neither Cristina nor her husband were called to court for the ruling. Both have lived in Switzerland with their four children since 2013, and have always denied any wrongdoing.

The case can be appealed in the Supreme Court, but it was not clear whether Urdangarin would choose to do so.

Nine of the defendants were acquitted of all charges.