(Bloomberg) Princess Cristina, the sister of Spain’s King Felipe VI, was ordered to face trial over claims she was an accessory to tax charges linked to her husband.
The princess will stand trial alongside 16 other people, including her husband Inaki Urdangarin, according to a ruling today by Judge Jose Castro in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. Cristina was ordered to lodge a surety of 2.7 million euros.
The decision follows a three-year probe into Cristina and Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player, who will go on trial for embezzlement, influence trafficking and falsifying documents. The investigation focused on the Urdangarin’s non-profit Noos Institute, which received public funds, and Aizoon SL, a shell company he jointly owned with his wife that received money from Noos, according to court documents.
Miquel Roca, the princess’s lawyer, said he would challenge the ruling and described the situation as “serious, surprising and exceptional.”
“Evidently we disagree and we only ask that the law be applied,” he said in televised comments in Barcelona.
Cristina was the first Spanish royal to face criminal allegations in court since the monarchy was reinstated almost 40 years ago. She testified in February.
She was cleared of accusations of money-laundering by the court last month. The judge decided to bring her to trial on the lesser charges even though Spain’s state prosecutor hadn’t supported that accusation.
Roca said that the judge’s decision to proceed to trial without the backing of prosecutors, contradicted “very established precedent.” In a 2007 case, the Supreme Court ruled individuals can’t be tried for tax crimes without the support of the public prosecutor because the state is the injured party.
El Mundo newspaper published the judge’s ruling on its website Monday.
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