Spain: Prosecutor calls on judge to slash princess' bail

AP News
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Posted: May 19, 2015 9:18 AM

MADRID (AP) — The prosecutor has called on a Spanish judge to slash the 2.7 million-euro ($3.1 million) bail set for Princess Cristina while she awaits trial for tax fraud, a Balearic Islands justice tribunal official said Tuesday.

The official said prosecutor Pedro Horrach filed the petition before Palma de Mallorca court investigating magistrate Jose Castro but she could not immediately give any further details.

She was speaking on condition of anonymity in keeping with department regulations.

Spanish media outlets said the prosecutor's request echoed that of the princess' lawyers, who have asked to reduce the bail to some 450,000 euros in accordance with what she might have to pay if convicted.

Castro has yet to respond to the requests.

The princess has already given the judge a list of assets covering the bail amount, which she will be blocked from selling while awaiting trial.

Cristina, the 49-year-old sister of King Felipe, has been indicted as part of a four-year probe into her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, who faces charges including money-laundering and fraud.

Cristina and Urdangarin, through their lawyers, have repeatedly asserted their innocence. Prosecutor Horrach has long opposed the princess' indictment, saying there is no evidence she committed any crime.

The trial is expected to begin before the end of the year.

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

Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball medalist turned businessman, faces a possible sentence of up to 19 years.

Urdangarin is accused of using his Duke of Palma title to embezzle about 6 million euros in public contracts through a nonprofit foundation he and a business partner set up to channel money to other businesses, including Aizoon, a company he owned with Cristina.

A further 15 people are charged in the case, one of several scandals to affect the royal family under former King Juan Carlos, who abdicated in favor of Felipe last year.