Spanish court suspends charges against Princess Cristina

Reuters News
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Posted: May 07, 2013 8:12 AM
Spanish court suspends charges against Princess Cristina

MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish court on Tuesday suspended charges against Princess Cristina, saying there was not sufficient evidence that King Juan Carlos's daughter had been an accomplice in an embezzlement case involving her husband.

Cristina, 47, was charged last month in the case, the first time a member of the royal family had been the subject of criminal proceedings since the Spanish monarchy was reinstated in the 1970s.

Tuesday's ruling by the High Court of the Balearic island of Mallorca overturned an earlier judgment by Examining Magistrate Jose Castro, of a lower court. The charges could be reinstated if further evidence is unearthed, the High Court said.

The case, along with a number of other high-level corruption scandals - has deepened public discontent with the royal family and with alleged graft among the rich and powerful while many Spaniards struggle with 27 percent unemployment and a long-running recession.

Castro had said there was evidence the princess had aided and abetted or at least been an accomplice of her husband, Inaki Urdangarin. He has been charged with fraud, tax evasion, falsifying documents and embezzlement of 6 million euros ($8 million) in public funds when he headed a charitable foundation.

The High Court was ruling on an appeal of the charges that had been brought by prosecutors. In Spain's legal system, examining magistrates and prosecutors both investigate cases, and may have differing views.

($1 = 0.7659 euros)

(Reporting By Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Mark Heinrich)