Spain's Princess Cristina acquitted, husband jailed


Despite being cleared, Cristina has been ordered to pay a €265,000 fine (nearly £230,000) as the court believed she had indirectly benefited, albeit unknowingly, from her husband's fraud.

She took the stand in her defense in March 2016, saying she "didn't concern herself" with her husband's business affairs.

Her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, was sentenced to six years and three months in prison and fined more than €500,000 after being found guilty of embezzlement, fraud and tax evasion.

A lawyer with her defence team, Miquel Roca, said that the princess was "satisfied for the acknowledgement of her innocence" but that she was still convinced that her husband wasn't guilty.

Neither were called to appear in court to hear the verdict. King Juan Carlos I abdicated in 2014 under pressure for, among other things, going on an elephant hunting trip to Botswana.

The trial centred on accusations that Urdangarin used his former title, the Duke of Palma, to embezzle about $6.6 million in public funds for the non-profit organisation, the Noos Foundation.

Although they live in Lisbon, Portugal, the couple and their four children were reported to be staying in Geneva, Switzerland until the case is resolved.

Neither Princess Cristina nor her husband were in court for the February 17 verdict, which was originally expected to be handed down previous year. The court acquitted nine others.

The institute organized conferences and sports-related events and was run with a partner, Diego Torres, who was sentenced to eight years and a half in jail in Friday's ruling by a provincial court in Palma de Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands.

The case further soured public opinion of the Spanish royal family.

The trial, and the long investigation that preceded it, had been closely followed in a country inured to high-level political and banking corruption cases, and where inequality has grown in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

When he ascended the throne, Felipe removed his older sisters, Elena and Cristina, from royal duties as part of efforts to modernise the monarchy.