Spanish court to decide whether to put princess on trial

3rd November 2014, Comments 0 comments

A Spanish court will decide Friday whether to put King Felipe VI's sister on trial for tax fraud -- unprecedented in the history of the monarchy -- or accept her not guilty plea.

Cristina de Bourbon, 49, was charged with 16 others including her husband of siphoning off public funds worth 6.

1 million euros ($7.

6 million) through the Noos Institute.

Three judges from a court in Palma de Mallorca in Spain's Balearic islands will take a decision on Friday on whether to accept her plea made on July 2.

The Noos Institute is a charitable organisation and was headed by Cristina's 46-year-old husband Inaki Urdangarin, a former Olympic medal-winning handball player, between 2003 and 2006.

Cristina sat on the board of Noos and Urdangarin was its chairman.

Investigators suspect that a separate company jointly owned by the couple, Aizoon, served as a front for laundering embezzled money.

Questioned in court in February, Cristina said she had simply trusted her husband and had no knowledge of his business affairs.

The princess's lawyer, Miquel Roca, said he was "absolutely confident" that the court would accept her not guilty plea and dismiss all charges against her.

"I don't contemplate any other possibility," he told journalists.

Asked if the court's decision will be impartial, he said: "Of course.

The judges will dictate their ruling based on a criteria of independence and objectivity.

""Let us allow the court to work calmly and say what it has to say when it has to say it.

" Roca, 74, was one of seven "fathers" or authors of the Spanish constitution, in force since 1978.

He was a member of parliament for almost 20 years.

A mother of four with a master's degree from New York University, Cristina was once considered untouchable as a member of the royal family.

But the so-called Noos affair fanned public anger against the monarchy and ruling class during the recent years of economic hardship in Spain.

Urdangarin and Cristina have been excluded from royal activities since 2011.


© 2014 AFP

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