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BREAKING NEWS: Infanta Cristina acquitted of corruption

Credit: Juan Manuel Herrera / OAS

Infanta Cristina of Spain has been found not guilty of corruption charges following a lengthy trial in Palma de Mallorca for corruption and money fraud.

Whereas Cristina was acquitted of all charged, her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, has been convicted and has been sentenced to six years and three months.

Although acquitted of being an accessory to fraud, Cristina has still been ordered to pay a fine of 265, 000 euros.

If she was convicted of fraud, she could have been facing a prison sentence of up to eight years.

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 was a member of the board, and Iñaki served as 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 (The 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 indicted in the case, as well.

Infanta Cristina is the first member of the Spanish Royal Family to face trial. She has widely been seen to have brought shame on the family, and her brother, King Felipe, has actively kept his distance from her.

The trial began in January 2016 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.

The Infanta and Iñaki have said they believe they are victims of a “tremendous injustice” and that they are “scapegoats.”

The verdict was expected in October 2016 but was delayed after three magistrates could not come to an agreement on whether or not to send Iñaki to prison

Additional reporting by Royal Central’s Europe Editor, Brittani Barger