Spain's Princess Cristina acquitted of tax fraud

The verdicts are in relation to a corruption ring surrounding Urdangarin's non-profit organization, the Noos Institute, which siphoned off more than €6 million ($6.4 million) in public funds.

Spanish judges will deliver their verdict on Friday in the trial of the King of Spain's sister Princess Cristina, charged with being an accessory to tax fraud following a long investigation into her husband's financial affairs.

Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player, was handed a jail term of six years and three months by a court in Palma de Mallorca on counts including fraud and influence trafficking. Cristina was fined 265,000 euros ($282,000) for benefiting, albeit unknowingly, from her husband's ill-gotten gains.

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. While the country was in the midst of an economic crisis with an unemployment rate of 23 percent in 2012, Spanish newspapers published a photograph of the king during a hunting trip to Botswana.

Some of the foundation's money was transferred to a private company used to pay for personal family items like holidays, home furnishings and theatre tickets, prosecutors say. Any criminal indictment would be unprecedented for a relative of the royal family.

The case can be appealed in the Supreme Court, but it was not clear whether Urdangarin would choose to do so. He overcharged for the events and then hid the proceeds overseas, they say.

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.

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.

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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