Witness: Spouse of Spain princess wanted sports deal 'toll'

MADRID – A witness at the trial of Spain’s Princess Cristina and 16 others has testified that the princess’ husband wanted a commission of 300,000 euros ($339,000) as a “toll” to help the regional Balearic Islands government land a cycling sponsorship deal.

Former Environment Minister Jaume Matas said Thursday he approved the 2003 payoff deal in return for Inaki Urdangarin’s influence. The Banesto cycling team was then one of the world’s best.

Matas, regional leader of Spain’s Balearic Islands at the time, is among the defendants in the trial.

Urdangarin is accused of using his former title of Duke of Palma to embezzle public funds for sporting deals through his non-profit Noos Institute.

Money was allegedly funneled from Noos for personal use.

Cristina, King Felipe VI’s sister, is charged with tax fraud.