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Verdict expected from Infanta Cristina of Spain’s corruption trial on 19 October

Infanta Cristina of Spain and her husband Iñaki Urdangarin should know their fate on 19 October, after facing trial for corruption and money fraud earlier in the year.

Cristina and Iñaki were accused of defrauding taxpayers of funds through embezzlement and money laundering in excess of £4.5 million through the non-profit organisation the Noos Institute. Infanta Cristina had been a member of the board, while her husband was the director.

Specifically, Cristina was accused of using money from the organisation for personal expenses. Iñaki was arraigned on charges of tax fraud and money laundering. He, and his business partner Diego Torres, have been accused of hugely overcharging two regional governments (Balearic Islands and Valencia) that participated in different sporting events organised by the Noos Institute. Formal charges against him were brought in December 2011. However, charges were not brought against the Infanta until Spanish judge Jose Castro formalised the charges in June 2014. Fifteen other people besides Infanta Cristina and Iñaki have been charged in the case, as well.

As a result of the allegations and subsequent trial, Cristina’s younger brother, King Felipe of Spain revoked her and her husband’s titles of the Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca in June 2015. However, the Infanta and her children remain in the line of succession to the throne.

The trial began in January of this year with the Spanish royal arguing that she knew nothing of her husband’s actions and denying the accusations that she was an accessory to tax evasion. If convicted, Cristina could face up to eight years in prison. Her husband, on the other hand, could be sentenced to 19.5 years if the prosecutor’s request is granted.

The corruption case has taken a toll on the popularity and approval of the monarchy in Spain. It was, in part, blamed for the abdication of Infanta’s Cristina’s father King Juan Carlos in favour of his son, Felipe in June 2014. Spanish newspaper, El País reported that by 2013, the approval rating of the monarchy was at 3.68 out of 10.

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