UPDATE: Judges at Mallorca’s regional Appeal Court in Palma have ruled that Princess Cristina will have to see out the rest of the high-profile Noos fraud trial in the dock.
A request made by the princess´ defence team, supported by the Public Prosecutor and the Attorney General´s office, asked that her charges be dropped according to the “Botrin doctrine” which allows for charges to be rejected if the Spanish government decides against prosecution, even if other private criminal complaints have been filed.
In their 85-page ruling on January 29, the judge held that a complaint brought by far-right trade union Manos Limpias, a group known for suing public figures, was enough to justify the Princess´ presence in the court room for the duration of the entire trial.
THE HEAVILY publicised trial of Princess Cristina of Spain will get underway today, January 11, as the first member of Spanish royalty faces criminal charges in a huge corruption scandal that has rocked the country.
Known as Infanta Cristina, the 50-year-old is the youngest daughter of former King Juan Carlos and his wife Sofia and sixth in line to the Spanish throne.
Personally charged with tax evasion, the Princess is one of 17 accused in a far-reaching and highly controversial affair centred around her husband Inaki Urdangarin, and the Noos Institute, which he previously chaired.
Former handball player, Urdangarin, and his ex-business partner Diego Torres are accused of embezzling public funds, with an estimated €6.2 million (£4.6 million) paid by regional governments to have them organise sporting events.
Prosecutors claim that the 47-year-old siphoned off some of that money into a private firm he owned with Cristina, while using his royal connections to secure contracts at inflated rates.
He could face 19 years in prison if found guilty, whilst the prosecution has asked that Cristina face an eight year sentence for her part in the scandal, though legal experts doubt that she will face prison.
The trial takes place in Mallorca, nearly 20 years after Cristina was named Duchess of Palma at her extravagant wedding in 1997, a title that was stripped last year by her brother Felipe VI upon his ascension to the throne.