The judge who will preside over Princess Cristina de Borbón’s tax fraud case has rejected her request to reduce the €2.69 million financial liability bond she has been ordered to pay before her trial begins.
King Felipe VI’s sister had asked Palma de Mallorca Judge José Castro to reduce the amount to €449,525, but the Balearic Islands magistrate ruled that the princess has a criminal proceeding to face in connection with the business dealings by her husband Iñaki Urdangarin in the so-called Nóos case.
Her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, is believed to have diverted some €6 million in public funds
Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player, is believed to have diverted some €6 million in public funds to organize sporting and tourism events in the Balearics and Valencia through the non-profit Nóos Institute he set up with the help of his former business partner.
The money allegedly went to private businesses owned by Urdangarin and Diego Torres.
One of those entities, Aizoon, was co-owned by the princess, and the judge believes Cristina and Urdangarin passed off personal expenses as company expenses, which they deducted from their tax filings.
Last December, he ordered her to stand trial on two tax evasion charges and deposit a €600,000 civil liability bond to cover any alleged profits she may have made through her husband’s financial dealings.
The €2.69 million the judge is also requiring would go to pay restitution to the public agencies who were victims of the alleged fraud scheme if she is convicted.
Her lawyers had told Castro that the amount was “manifestly unfair.”
Anti-corruption prosecutor Pedro Horrach has asked for a 19-year prison sentence for Urdangarin, who faces eight criminal charges, and 15 years for Torres.
Horrach never wanted to charge the princess because he felt she was not responsible for her husband’s actions. This put him at odds with Castro throughout the lengthy investigation, which led to a string of appeals.
In his latest ruling, Judge Castro has criticized the infanta for her behavior throughout the investigation, because he believes that she is not acting like a person who wants to repair any damage she may have caused.
The magistrate also said that it was “absurd” that the Tax Agency never took a stance against the king’s sister
The princess, for her part, has claimed that she is being treated unfairly because of her royal title.
The magistrate also said that it was “absurd” that the Spanish Tax Agency never took a stance against the king’s sister. As with Horrach, the Finance Ministry and the Attorney General’s Office also never acted to investigate Princess Cristina and rejected Castro’s arguments that she should be put in the dock.
The judge has frozen up to 16 properties belonging to the princess and Urdangarin.
The princess will become the first Spanish royal in modern times to face criminal proceedings. The entire case has done huge damage to the Spanish royal family’s image and is believed to have been one of the reasons behind the abdication of her father, King Juan Carlos, last year.