Spain's Princess Cristina to testify over corruption charges
By Inmaculada Sanz and Tracy Rucinski
MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's Princess Cristina, daughter of King Juan Carlos, will appear before a Palma de Mallorca court to testify over tax fraud and money-laundering charges she denies but has decided not to appeal, her lawyers said on Saturday.
It is the first time a member of Spain's royal family will testify as the subject of criminal proceedings since Juan Carlos came out of exile to reclaim the throne after the end of the Francisco Franco dictatorship in 1975.
"Her Royal Highness has decided to renounce her right to appeal ... and to appear voluntarily before the judge," her law firm Roca Junyent said in a statement.
However, the lawyers said they "absolutely and firmly disagree" with the charges brought against Princess Cristina, which were made public this week by Palma de Mallorca Examining Magistrate Jose Castro after a lengthy investigation.
The case is centered on Princess Cristina's involvement in a charitable organization called Noos Foundation run by her husband, former Olympic handball player Inaki Urdangarin.
Urdangarin was earlier charged with fraud, tax evasion, falsifying documents and embezzlement of 6 million euros ($8.2 million) in public funds through Noos, which put on sports business conferences in Mallorca and across Spain.
Urdangarin has denied any wrongdoing.
This week's summons called for Princess Cristina, 48, to testify on March 8 but her lawyers on Saturday asked that the testimony take place as soon as possible to avoid drawing out what they called "an uncomfortable and unjust situation". Continued...