ROYAL SCANDAL

Judge rejects Princess Cristina’s attempt to avoid trial for tax fraud

King’s sister had filed appeal to halt proceedings, accusing magistrate of “excesses”

Cristina de Borbón with her husband Iñaki Urdangarin.
Cristina de Borbón with her husband Iñaki Urdangarin.SERGIO BARRENECHEA / EFE

Cristina de Borbón’s appeal against a Palma court’s decision to make her stand trial for tax fraud in connection with her husband’s alleged crimes has been rejected by the judge presiding the case.

On Friday, investigating judge José Castro rejected the appeal lodged by her defense, which accused the magistrate of excesses and of being intent on putting the infanta on the stand despite a lack of evidence against her.

The case has created a major rift between Judge Castro and his anti-corruption attorney Pedro Horrach

On December 22, Castro announced his decision to try King Felipe VI’s sister for her alleged involvement in diverting and using public funds obtained through no-bid contracts by her husband, former Olympic handball player Iñaki Urdangarin.

Urdangarin and a business partner are accused of siphoning off around €6 million in public funds awarded to their non-profit Nóos Institute. The money was allegedly channeled to private companies after overcharging the regional governments of Valencia and the Balearics for organizing sports events.

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One of these recipient businesses, Aizoon, was owned jointly by Urdangarin and his wife. The infanta is alleged to have used company credit cards to make personal purchases in 2007 and 2008 and then to have deducted the expenses from her tax filings.

Before deciding whether to try her, the Mallorca judge interrogated Cristina de Borbón in February of last year, making her the first member of the Spanish royal family to give testimony to a criminal court.

The case has created a major rift between Judge Castro and his anti-corruption attorney, Pedro Horrach, who feels the infanta is being targeted because of who she is.

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