King Felipe's Brother-in-Law Guilty of Fraud, Infanta Cristina Acquitted - Court
Cristina's husband, Inaki Urdangarin, was sentenced to 6 years and 3 months in prison on charges of fraud and tax evasion, the authorities said in a statement on their website. But a panel of judges ruled that she must pay fines of almost 265,000 euros (more than $280,000) because she benefited indirectly from crime.
As well as Cristina and Urdangarin, 15 others faced charges in the trial which investigated the dealings of the Noos Institute, a supposedly non-profit institution set up by Urdangarin and his partner, Diego Torres, who were accused of embezzling 6.2 million euros of public money.
The sentencing brings an end to a yearlong trial and closes one chapter of a royal family feud that has lasted more than three years, according to the New York Times.
The decision, which can be appealed to the Supreme Court, came after a year-long trial that was seen as a test of whether Spain's rich and powerful were accountable to the law.
The princess was stripped of her title as Duchess of Palma, but still has rights to succession, which put her sixth in line to the throne.
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Felipe and Queen Letizia made no immediate comment Friday on the court's rulings during a visit to a museum in Madrid with the Hungarian president. Torres' wife and Cristina, for whom an anticorruption group was asking for 8 years of jail each, were absolved by the court.
While the case mainly revolved around Urdangarin, the prosecution had claimed that Cristina must have been aware of her husband's activities.
Asked by her defence lawyer why she became the co-proprietor of a company called Aizoon through which illegal funds were funnelled into their personal accounts, Princess Cristina said it had been Mr Urdangarin's idea and she had agreed: "Out of trust". On Friday, reporters waited outside their house in Geneva, hoping in vain to get a glimpse of the couple.
"I think the prosecutor wasn't trying to prosecute the crime but rather to protect the alleged criminal", said Miquel Puig, a 62-year-old economist in Barcelona.
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