Photo: Princess Cristina
Princess Cristina, the younger of Spanish King Juan Carlos’ two daughters, has decided to renounce her right to appeal and will testify over corruption charges, her attorneys said Saturday.
In their statement, the lawyers said the princess would voluntarily appear before the judge even though she “absolutely and firmly disagrees” with the charges.
On Tuesday, Spanish Judge Jose Castro formally charged Cristina with tax fraud and money laundering and summoned her to appear in court on March 8.
The corruption case involves the Noos Foundation, which was run by Cristina’s husband, Iñaki Urdangarin.
Urdangarin and former partner Diego Torres are accused of embezzling more than 6 million euros ($7.7 million) after using the royal son-in-law’s connections to obtain lucrative, no-bid public contracts for the foundation.
Cristina, 48, was summoned to testify as a suspect once before by Castro last year, but that decision was overruled by a higher court.
That same court, however, authorized Castro to pursue possible tax charges against Cristina, who moved to Geneva last year with her children to work for a Spanish bank’s foundation.
In particular, the tax office was told to probe whether she made use of funds from Aizoon, a company she owns jointly with Urdangarin, for personal expenses such as refurbishing her home in Barcelona.
On Dec. 9, Judge Castro asked the parties in the case to weigh in on whether charges should be brought once again against Cristina.
Only the activist group Clean Hands, which has pressed the case using a Spanish legal mechanism known as the people’s accusation, said it favored Castro summoning the princess to testify.
Government prosecutors and the attorneys representing Urdangarin, Torres and Cristina said they opposed bringing charges against her.