Spain's Princess Cristina appears before court in tax fraud trial

Spain's Princess Cristina responded to allegations in a court in Palma de Mallorca on Thursday on the first day of her hearing in a 6.8-million-dollar tax fraud trial.

The 50-year-old sister of King Felipe VI faces embezzlement charges as an accessory to her husband Inaki Urdangarin, 48. She is the first-ever close relative of a Spanish monarch to stand trial.

The Infanta told the court at the start of her hearing that she would only accept questions from her defence lawyer. She remained silent during a list of questions from the prosecution.

Urdangarin, one of the main accused in the tax evasion trial, has already testified in a previous hearing. The prosecution is pursuing a 20-year jail term for the former handball star.

Urdangarin is accused of embezzling about 6 million euros (6.8 million dollars) in public funds through a charity, the Noos Institute, which he ran from 2004 to 2006.

Cristina allegedly helped him withhold income tax in 2007 and 2008. However, the princess insisted in court that she had never been involved in the business.

She was an associate of a company which, the prosecution charges, was used by her husband to transfer money from the charity.

Cristina told the court that she did not have the knowledge required to answer the prosecution's questions on taxation and the inner workings of the business.

She said that she had been busy during the time in question taking care of her four children as well as working and attending to her royal duties.

The trial opened on January 11 and involves 17 defendants. It is expected to end in June.

Last update: Fri, 04/03/2016 - 00:11
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