Spanish Princess Cristina, Husband Inaki Urdangarin, and 16 Others Tried For Tax Fraud
Jan 12, 2016 12:52 AM EST
Spain's Princess Cristina and her husband have been recently tried for tax fraud. She is the first member of the country's royal family to be in a hearing.
The 50-year-old is charged for allegedly being an accomplice in an apparent embezzlement scam with her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, and 16 more people. All of them are denying the charges, BBC reported.
The Princess could face eight years behind bars if found guilty of the charges against her.
Shanghai Daily reported that the lawyers of Princess Cristina will try to dismiss the charges against her as prosecutors refused to press charges against her as well. However, under Spanish law, private entities are entitled to file criminal complaints.
The charges have been filed by "Clean Hands," an anti-corruption organization. The organization noted that Princess Cristina should be tried as all are equal in the eyes of the law.
On the other hand, Urdangarin is accused of embezzlement and money laundering. As per reports, his supposed non-profit foundation called Noos Institute was used as their main medium to win falsely inflated contracts from the regional government bodies. If he is found guilty, he is to face 19 years and six months in jail.
The excess money was reportedly channeled to the personal accounts of the defendants. Noos Institute reportedly received more than $6.5 Million of public money and most are from the Balearic Islands and Valencia regional governments.
Accordingly, Princess Cristina was a board member of the foundation and Urdangarin also co-owned a real estate company named Aizoon. This was reportedly used to launder the funds that were embezzled.
She is alleged of using money from the Aizoon funds to pay for the clothes and dance lessons of their four children as well as to pay for some of the work made on the couple's Barcelona mansion.
As for the other 16 people included in the alleged scam, Express reported that it includes the former regional head of the Balearic Islands government and other high-ranking officials from the islands involved in the case.
The trial is expected to end in June and if proven guilty, the sentencing will be before the end of the year.