Spanish princess to face tax fraud trial

MADRID - Spain's Princess Cristina has lost a legal battle to avoid being tried for tax fraud and is expected to testify next month in a corruption trial also featuring her husband and 16 other defendants, a panel of judges ruled Friday.

See Full Article

Lawyers for the sister of King Felipe VI, a prosecutor and a state attorney representing Spanish tax authorities earlier this month all said the charges against Cristina should be thrown out because government officials agreed she had committed no crimes and should face at most an administrative fine for tax evasion.

But the judges disagreed, according to a statement released by the court.

That means the 50-year-old Cristina will face two counts of tax fraud carrying a maximum prison sentence of eight years for allegedly failing to declare taxes on personal expenses paid by a real estate company she owned with her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, an Olympic handball medallist turned businessman.

The judges ended up siding with an investigative judge who spent four years probing the case and ruled she could be tried because of evidence presented by private anti-corruption group Manos Limpias (Clean Hands).

During the trial, the judges will have to weigh whether the couple criminally abused the Aizoon real estate consulting firm described in court documents as a "front company" to fund luxury vacations, throw parties at their modernist Barcelona mansion and pay for salsa dancing classes.

The trial is the first time that a member of Spain's royal family has faced criminal charges since the monarchy was restored in 1975.

Urdangarin and others face charges of embezzling up to 6.2 million euros ($6.8 million) from contracts that were allegedly inflated or never honoured. The princess' husband, formerly the Duke of Palma, is accused of using his title to land the deals for the Noos Institute he ran with business partner Diego Torres.

The case is being heard in Palma de Mallorca, the regional capital of Spain's Balearic Islands, because many of Urdangarin's business deals under investigation were for the islands.

Cristina denied knowledge of her husband's activities during a 2014 closed-door court appearance, but the investigative judge decided she could be tried for tax fraud allegedly committed in 2007 and 2008.

Details about the couple's regal lifestyle that emerged from the pre-trial investigation from 2011-2014 outraged Spaniards as the country teetered on the edge of an economic crisis and the unemployment rate hit 27 per cent.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Donald Trump: Don't believe polls, 'we are winning' [Video]

    World News Toronto Sun
    PALM BEACH, FLA. - Election Day just 15 days off, Donald Trump fought to preserve his narrow path to the presidency in must-win Florida on Monday. Hillary Clinton worked to slam the door on her Republican opponent in New Hampshire. Source
  • Trump on porn star accuser: ‘Oh, I’m sure she’s never been grabbed before’

    World News Toronto Sun
    Donald Trump mocked former porn star Jessica Drake for her claims he was sexually inappropriate towards her, telling a New Hampshire radio station: “Oh, I’m sure she’s never been grabbed before.” #Trump on Jessica Drake who accused him of sexual assault: "Oh I'm sure she's never been grabbed before. Source
  • Bus driver to blame for Edmonton child being dropped off far from stop, says Catholic district

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A failure to follow procedures is to blame for an Edmonton kindergartner being dropped off kilometres from his stop, says a statement from Edmonton Catholic Schools. “Using seating plans so that kindergarten and Grade 1 students are seated at the front of the bus, identifying these young students with a red bus pass pouch and providing drivers with a schedule listing students, their grade and stop location with a reminder about the policy are all safeguards for the drivers to use,” said the…
  • U.S. movie theatres to put election night on the big screen in 25 cities

    World News CBC News
    AMC Theatres has partnered with CNN to broadcast the Nov. 8 presidential election on the big screen at 50 theatres in 25 cities nationwide. Each location will be designated as either "red" or "blue" (Republican or Democratic) and attendees may choose their theatre based on party preference. Source
  • Judges in Alta. custody case ordered boy not to wear girls clothes in public

    Canada News CTV News
    MEDICINE HAT, Alta. -- A gender identity expert says judges need more education after two Alberta family court judges ruled a child born a boy can't wear girls clothes in public. Kris Wells, with the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta, says the case shows some judges need their attitudes challenged and corrected. Source
  • Liberals to bring Yazidi survivors of ISIS genocide to Canada within 4 months

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal government is committing to take urgent steps to bring Yazidi refugees to Canada within four months. Immigration, Refugees and CItizenship Minister John McCallum announced during question period today that Liberals will support a wide-ranging motion from the Opposition Conservatives to help survivors of ISIS genocide. Source
  • Dog trapped in well for almost a month showing strong will to live: vet school

    Canada News CTV News
    SASKATOON -- A chocolate Labrador retriever trapped in a well for almost a month is responding to special care from animal medical clinicians and a nutritionist. Seven-year-old Bruno is listed as stable in the intensive care unit at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine in Saskatoon. Source
  • Alberta taps climate change fund to help farmers reduce CO2 emissions

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Alberta is tapping into its industrial carbon levy fund to help the farm sector reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The province says it will spend $10 million to expand existing programs that encourage producers to use energy efficient equipment and solar power. Source
  • Woman dies after allegedly throwing herself onto highway to escape abusive husband

    World News Toronto Sun
    An Oklahoma mother of five hurled herself out of a moving car allegedly to escape her abusive husband, friends say. Brianne King, 33, was riding in the passenger’s seat of a vehicle being driven by her husband Michael Muller, when police suspect she opened the vehicle door and threw herself onto a busy highway last Tuesday, according to local station KFOR-TV. Source
  • Why one piece of evidence mattered so much in Dennis Oland murder case

    Canada News CTV News
    From the earliest days in Dennis Oland's murder trial, the Crown faced an uphill battle to convince jurors that a precarious balance of circumstantial evidence added up to a guilty verdict. Nonetheless, in December jurors found the member of the clan that owns Moosehead Breweries guilty of the second-degree murder of his father, as family members wept loudly in the Saint John courtroom. Source