October 6, 2015 / 10:21 AM / in 2 years

Spain's Princess Cristina tax fraud trial to start in January

MADRID (Reuters) - Cristina de Borbon, sister of Spain’s King Felipe VI, will appear in court on January 11 on tax fraud charges, court documents showed on Tuesday, as part of a wider investigation into her husband’s Noos Foundation charity.

Spain's Cristina de Borbon, sister of King Felipe, arrives for a service in memory of the late Bulgarian Prince Kardam in Madrid, Spain, June 8, 2015. REUTERS/Juan Medina

The high-profile case is emblematic of how corruption has permeated the top ranks of politicians, bankers and other institutional figures in Spain, eroding Spaniards’ faith in their leaders and institutions.

Corruption will be a major theme in December’s general election with the two main political parties, tarnished by graft scandals of their own, running neck-to-neck while challenged by newcomers promising cleaner government.

Prosecutors have conducted a lengthy investigation into the affairs of Cristina’s husband, former Olympic handball player Inaki Urdangarin, centered on large payments from public bodies to the Noos Charity for sports promotional activities.

He has been charged with fraud, tax evasion, falsifying documents and embezzlement of public funds. Cristina, no longer a member of the royal family after former King Juan Carlos abdicated last year, is accused of tax fraud.

Both deny any wrong-doing.

The trial, with 18 people accused in total, is due to start on January 11 on the Balearic island of Mallorca.

Reporting By Inmaculada Sanz, Writing by Sonya Dowsett; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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