Noos corruption case | Judge to investigate Princess Cristina

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Noos corruption case

Judge to investigate Princess Cristina for presumed tax irregularities

05/24/2013

Cristina was charged last month in the case, the first time a member of the royal family had been the subject of criminal proceedings since the 1970s. Charges were dropper a week later.

  • Princess Cristina. Photo: EFE

    Princess Cristina. Photo: EFE

    Princess Cristina. Photo: EFE
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In another blow to Spain's royal family, the examining magistrate of the Noos corruption case, Jose Castro has filed in the case several income tax returns belonging to Princess Cristina, the Spanish king's daughter, and has requested Spain's Tax Office to launch a probe for presumed tax irregularities.

Investigating authorities allege that Iñaki Urdangarin, Cristina's Husband, and his former business partner Diego Torres funneled about 5 million euros ($6.4 million) in public funds to companies they controlled. The two ran a nonprofit organization called the Noos Institute, through which the funds were channeled and of which the princess was a board member.

The examining magistrate, also asked Valencia's regional parliament to certify the status of members of the chamber of Francisco Camps, former regional president of Valencia, and Valencia Mayor Rita Barbera, a  preliminary step before their possible accusation in the case.

Cristina, 47, was charged last month in the case, the first time a member of the royal family had been the subject of criminal proceedings since the Spanish monarchy was reinstated in the 1970s.

In a court document last month, investigating magistrate Judge Jose Castro said the princess was a board member on two of her husband's companies. The magistrate added there was evidence the princess was aware that her husband had used her name and status in his dealings, from which both had benefited. Castro said such evidence could lead the princess to be classified as an accomplice.

Urdangarin, 45, has already been questioned twice by Castro since the probe began two years ago. The magistrate said for the investigation to be completed and to show that justice treats all equally, the princess must be questioned.

A week after that, a court suspended charges against Princess Cristina, saying there was not sufficient evidence that King Juan Carlos's daughter had been an accomplice in an embezzlement case involving her husband.

The case, along with a number of other high-level corruption scandals - has deepened public discontent with the royal family and with alleged graft among the rich and powerful while many Spaniards struggle with 27 percent unemployment and a long-running recession.

Castro had said there was evidence the princess had aided and abetted or at least been an accomplice of her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin. He has been charged with fraud, tax evasion, falsifying documents and embezzlement of 6 million euros ($8 million) in public funds when he headed a charitable foundation.

The High Court was ruling on an appeal of the charges that had been brought by prosecutors. In Spain's legal system, examining magistrates and prosecutors both investigate cases, and may have differing views.

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