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Spanish Princess faces fraud charges in court

The judge investigating the Noos corruption case ruled on Monday that Infanta Cristina de Borbon, the youngest sister of King Felipe VI of Spain must face charges of embezzlement and tax evasion in court alongside her husband Inaki Urdangarin.

As a result she becomes the first member of a ruling royal family to have to face criminal charges.

Judge Jose Castro has rejected the claims of Cristina's defense lawyers and also pressure from the Spanish Anti-Corruption Prosecutor, who said the Infanta was not involved in Urdangarin's business dealings and she lacked the financial knowledge to have actively participated in the fraud.

This was despite the facts that Cristina had 50 percent ownership and signed important documents for the company 'Aizoon', which was a front company allegedly used to siphon off and launder funds for the Noos organization.

Cristina used company credit cards to pay for a range of personal expenses, which were later declared as business expenses and Judge Castro believes that through Aizoon, she may have cooperated in the fraudulent activities of the Noos Institute.

Noos was a supposedly non-profit organization, which Urdangarin and his partner Diego Torres used to secure contracts from the regional governments of Valencia and the Balearic Islands.

Urdgangarin is believed to have used his connections as a member of the royal household to obtain the contracts and he and Torres are thought to have defrauded as much as 6 million euros (around 7 million US dollars).

15 other people will face charges along with Urdangarin and Infanta Cristina and the case is likely to be heard in Palma in the second half of 2015.

[Source: Xinhua, Madrid, 22Dec14]

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