ROYAL SCANDAL

Princess Cristina will have to return 600,000 euros if husband found guilty

Infanta jointly owns company that allegedly received diverted funds

Princess Cristina and her husband Iñaki Urdangarin. / Sergio Barrenechea (EFE)

In the case of her husband Iñaki Urdangarin being found guilty of misappropriation of public funds, Princess Cristina, as the co-owner of a company with the Duke of Palma, would be obliged to return half of those funds. This would be the case even if she is absolved of all wrongdoing as an indirect beneficiary of fraudulent behavior, according to the anticorruption prosecutor's office.

Urdangarin and his former business partner, Diego Torres, are being investigated for possible misappropriation, fraud and tax evasion allegedly committed in the dealings of their not-for-profit organization Nóos Institute, which received contracts worth some six million euros from the regions of the Balearic Islands and Valencia without any of those contracts going up for public tender.

Urdangarin is alleged to have diverted 1.2 million euros of the sums Nóos received to a shell company called Aizoon, with no employees and no known activity, which he jointly owns with the princess.

Against the wishes of the prosecutor, who has argued that no wrongdoing can be attributed to the king's youngest daughter, Judge José Castro has subpoenaed Princess Cristina to appear before him in a court in Palma de Mallorca on Saturday for questioning as an official suspect in the Nóos case.

At the prosecutor's insistence, three tax inspectors who wrote a report exonerating the princess from any involvement in the business dealings of Urdangarin will provide testimony in court.

On the basis of article 122 of the penal code, the Supreme Court has established jurisprudence that those who materially benefit from a crime, even though they were unaware of it, have a civil liability to return the funds or assets they received.

The princess allegedly used some of the money diverted to Aizoon to pay for personal items such as dinnerware, dance lessons and restaurant meals, but charged the outlays as expenses against Aizoon's tax liabilities.

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