Main events in Spain's royal fraud scandal

22nd December 2014, Comments 0 comments

Spain's royal family is reeling from a financial corruption scandal centred on King Felipe VI's sister, 49-year-old Cristina, and her husband, 46-year-old Inaki Urdangarin.

Here are key events in the case, which outraged Spaniards and blighted the reign of 76-year-old former king Juan Carlos, who tearfully abdicated on June 18 in favour of his 46-year-old son Felipe.


On October 4, 1997, then king Juan Carlos's youngest daughter Cristina marries blue-eyed, 6-foot 6-inch (1.97-metre) tall former Olympic handball player Inaki Urdangarin, who becomes the Duke of Palma.


From 2004-2006, Urdangarin presides over the Noos Institute, of which Cristina is a board member. A non-profit foundation, Noos offers consultancy services and organises sports and tourism conferences for the private and public sectors.


On December 29, 2011, investigating Judge Jose Castro summons Urdangarin as a corruption suspect, suspecting Noos of creaming off money from government contracts. Already removed from official royal duties, Urdangarin denies any wrongdoing when he is questioned by the judge in Palma de Mallorca on February 25, 2012.


The duke tries to keep his wife out of it, but in April 2013 the judge summons Cristina as a suspect, too. The summons is revoked after a prosecutor's appeal. But on January 7, 2014, the judge summons her again on charges of tax fraud and money-laundering. No appeals are lodged.


On February 8, 2014, Cristina becomes the first direct relative of the king to appear in court as a suspect. Under closed-door questioning by the investigating judge, she distances herself from the accusations, denying knowledge of her husband's dealings and saying she trusted him.


On December 22, 2014, Judge Jose Castro says Cristina must stand trial on two counts of accessory to tax fraud. She will be the first member of the Spanish royal family to stand trial. The case is a big headache for Felipe, who took the throne promising an "honest and transparent monarchy".

© 2014 AFP

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