Spanish prosecutor: Princess Cristina's husband should be tried for fraud but not her

MADRID – Princess Cristina’s husband should be tried for fraud and embezzlement, but there’s no basis for charges against her, a prosecutor said Tuesday in a corruption probe that has weighed heavily on Spain’s royal family.

Prosecutor Pedro Horrach said that if Cristina’s husband, Inaki Urdangarin, is tried and found guilty, he should sentenced to 19 1/2 years in prison.

The 4-year-old probe centres on allegations that Urdangarin used his Duke of Palma title to embezzle about 6 million euros ($7.4 million) in public contracts through the Noos Institute, a non-profit foundation that he and a business partner set up that channeled money to other businesses, including Aizoon, a company he owned with Cristina. Horrach recommend a trial of 13 others in the case, including the former partner, Diego Torres.

Horrach said there is no evidence to try Cristina, a sister of King Felipe VI, on tax charges. Horrach said the Supreme Court has already ruled that people can’t be tried on tax charges, if prosecutors and tax authorities don’t call for them. However, he said Cristina, 49, should be made to pay 580,000 euros ($718,000) to cover the money she could have profited from owing to her husband’s alleged illegal dealings.

Cristina testified in the case in February, becoming the first Spanish royal to appear in court since the Spanish monarchy was restored in 1975.

Palma de Mallorca investigative Judge Jose Castro will now decide who should be formally indicted in the case. He will decide whether to accept all the prosecutor’s recommendations and send the entire case to trial under a different judge. He also could disagree with the findings and issue his own, including sending Cristina to be prosecuted, something her lawyers would likely appeal.

Felipe, 46, became king in June when his father Juan Carlos stepped down after a four-decade reign. Felipe pledged to restore public trust in the monarchy.

Under a palace reshuffle ordered by the new king, Cristina and her sister, Princesses Elena, no longer form part of the official royal family.