Princess Cristina of Spain acquitted in fraud case as husband jailed

Princess Christina

Spain's Princess Cristina, the sister of King Felipe, has been cleared by a court in Majorca in a fraud trial.

Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player, has been cut off from the royal family since 2014; King Felipe has also recently cut public ties with his sister "as part of efforts to fight corruption, increase transparency and improve the tainted image of the monarchy", the publication reports.

Although the younger sister of the King, Cristina de Borbon, was absolved of charges against her, she will have to pay a fine of 263,000 euros (280,000 US dollars) jointly with her husband Urdangarin.

Urdangarin, who had faced a maximum jail term of 19-and-a-half years, will be able to appeal the ruling in the country's Supreme Court.

The Spanish royal household has refused to comment about the result of the trial other than expressing its "absolute respect for the independence of the judiciary".

Inigo Mendez de Vigo, the minister who speaks for Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government, said Friday that it "shows that nobody is above the law and that the rule of law works".

Inaki Urdangarin
Inaki Urdangarin

The princess was on the board of Nóos, and she and her husband owned a real estate company, Aizoon, that prosecutors claimed was used to channel illegal revenue from Nóos to undeclared bank accounts.

The institute organized conferences and sports-related events and was run by Urdangarin and a partner, Diego Torres. "She believes his conviction is unjust, because she has always believed - and still believes - that he is innocent", Roca told reporters in Barcelona.

Although they live in Lisbon, Portugal, the couple and their four children were reported to be staying in Geneva, Switzerland until the case is resolved.

Judges had ordered Cristina to stand trial even though the accusation against her was not supported by the public prosecutor. "I think there was pressure to absolve her", said one man.

Maite Mila, a 52-year-old lawyer, said she believed the princess "benefited from what her husband did".

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