Spain's indicted princess faces asset block

AP News
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Posted: May 07, 2015 9:03 AM

MADRID (AP) — Spain's indicted Princess Cristina has been ordered to present a list of assets she will be blocked from selling while she awaits trial on tax fraud charges, a court official said Thursday.

The Palma de Mallorca court spokeswoman said investigative magistrate Jose Castro has given the princess until Friday afternoon to present the list, which will cover her 2.7 million euro ($3 million) bail fee.

She said the judge will verify if the assets cover the bail amount and then begin blocking them. The spokeswoman said no property would be seized from the princess but that she would not be able to sell any of it.

The court spokeswoman could not immediately say if the list would be made public. She spoke on condition of anonymity in keeping with court regulations.

Cristina, 49 — King Felipe's sister— was indicted last December as part of a four-year probe into her husband, Inaki Urdangarin. The trial is expected to begin before the end of the year.

She is the first royal family member in the country ordered to stand trial since the monarchy was restored in 1975. If convicted she could face up to four years in prison.

A former Olympic handball medalist turned businessman, Urdangarin is charged with money laundering and fraud and could face up to 19 years.

The case centers on allegations that Urdangarin used his Duke of Palma title to embezzle about 6 million euros in public contracts through the Noos Institute, a nonprofit foundation he set up with a business partner.

Another 15 people are charged and must present asset lists.

Cristina has already put up some 580,000 euros to cover the amount she could have profited from her husband's dealings, reducing her bail to some 2.1 million euros.

Cristina and her husband have repeatedly said through lawyers that they are innocent and the Spanish prosecutor involved with the case recommended that Cristina should not be indicted but face an administrative fine carrying no criminal penalty.

Castro decided not to accept the recommendation and issued the indictment — meaning Cristina will tried by a panel of judges.

The case was one of several scandals to affect the royal family under former King Juan Carlos, who abdicated in favor of Felipe last year.