The events that led to this case are no longer new since there were already allegations of tax fraud against Iñaki Urdangarin, the husband of Princess Infanta Cristina of Spain in early 2013. Allegations of tax frauds, embezzlement, forgery and corruption against him go as far back as 2011. The royal family had already distanced themselves from him. In this latest development, Princess Infanta Cristina, the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos of Spain, is being dragged into the mess, and has been summoned by the court on Tuesday for her alleged involvement in money laundering and tax fraud. The 48-year old princess is being linked to the business affairs and the cases filed against her husband. This latest court summons render the princess as a suspect formally and she will have to appear in court on March 8, 2014.
The second time
This is the second time that preliminary financial corruption charges were filed against the princess. The first time was in April 2013 although it was dropped a month later after prosecutors appealed to the provincial court that there was insufficient evidence against Princess Infanta Cristina. Judge Jose Castro of the local court in Palma de Mallorca, where the couple previously resided, continued his investigation even if the original charges were dropped.
Iñaki Urdangarin, the princess’s husband is accused of diverting public funds reserved for his non-profit foundation for his private use. Early on, he had already received several accusations of using the powerful connections he received as a royal family member to win public contracts for the Nóos Institute. The millions of dollars of public funds were allegedly embezzled by Urdangarin, with the funds channelled to other businesses Urdangarin had set up, including Aizoon. The public funds in question amount to $8 million.
Properties of the couple were seized last year, including a huge luxury house located in Barcelona.
The company was established by Princess Infanta Cristina and her husband, Urdangarin, who received the title of Duke of Palma when he married the princess in 1997. The princess is listed as co-owner of Aizoon, a company which is suspected of being a front for money laundering. The events leading to this new investigation are alleged to have occurred between the years 2004 and 2006, by the time Urdangarin had stepped down as head of the Nóos Institute.
Still, there are chances that the princess will not appear in court. This is the second time that Judge Castro has tried to drag the member of royalty to court. The higher court threw out Judge Castro’s accusation against the princess. According to the article in Business Insider:
“In bringing the new charges, Castro went against the recommendations of the anti-corruption prosecutor on the case who in December argued there was no evidence she committed crimes.
In Spain the prosecutor and the judge on a case carry out separate investigations and may disagree on proceedings. The princess is expected to appeal the charges and they could be thrown out again, or the judge may be given a period of several months to build his case ahead of trial.”
Photo Credit: Princess Infanta Cristina