After several years worth of court sessions and testimonies, Princess Cristina of Spain was cleared of all charges after being accused of committing tax fraud. She allegedly used public donations made to a sports charity she ran with her husband.
Both former Olympians, Cristina de Borbón is married to Iñaki Urdangarín, who will receive a prison sentence no shorter than six years as he was found guilty on all charges, even when both denied the accusations. Urdangarín was condemned for misuse, fraud, influence trafficking, and two fiscal crimes
Also, Diego Torres and ex-President Jaume Matas were condemned to eight years and three years of jail time respectively.
Princess Cristina ‘La Infanta’ was charged with a $282,000 fine. In 2015, King Felipe stripped them of their titles of Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca.
Evidence of corruption in Spain’s royalty
The case started in 2010 and it was a feasible sample of the corruption related to the Spanish royal family. After the testimonies of over 16 defendants and 300 witnesses, Princess Cristina stated to the court that she did not meddle in her husband’s business affairs. The royal couple did not attend the hearing of their sentence, which was supposed to take place last December.
La Infanta and Urdangarín live in Lisbon, Portugal, but eventually moved to Switzerland until the case was sorted out.
Íñigo Méndez de Vigo, government spokesman and Ministry of Education and Culture, announced that the executive power would not comment on law sentences, limiting itself on enforcing them, although he did state that the result of the trial “demonstrates that no one is above the law and that the rule of law does work,” as reported by El País.
What democratic parties have to say on the ruling:
The main political parties also pronounced themselves on the events. The conservative Popular Party’s (PP) spokesman Rafael Hernando declared that the sentence is severe enough to keep everyone out of arguments, mainly due to the extensive and detailed trial that allowed the accusation to succeed.
Spanish Socialist Worker’s Party (PSOE) spokesman Ramón Jáuregui declared the party’s most “absolute respect” to the decision, arguing that the trial was exemplary and a proof of the judicial power’s independence in Spain’s political affairs.
“We have spent years providing samples of a rule of law that works very well, with a separation of powers. There are many examples that Spain in this are is not perfect, but it is probably one of the countries that can serve as an example of how key institutions of a democracy should operate, such as an independent judiciary branch, that applies the law without any distinction for the person that it befalls upon,” he stated.
On the other hand, leftist populist party Podemos argues that the accusations leaned towards condemning the defendants. Teresa Rodríguez, Podemos’ Secretary General in Andalucía, stated that justice matters in Spain whether there are “rich” or “poor people” involved, although the party praised the openness about the corruption in Spain’s royal family.