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Spanish princess found not guilty, husband sentenced to six years for embezzlement

20 February 2017

The investigation heightened the impression among Spaniards that the royal family was out of touch with ordinary people just as Spain was suffering its worst recession of modern times.

Urdangarin was accused of embezzling $7.3 million in public funds from the non-profit Noos Institute through a company owned by the royal couple.

Cristina will pay a fine because she has civil responsibility, they said.

Mr Urdangarin was fined 513,000 euros for the public money he earned through fraudulent contracts.

Cristina's husband, Inaki Urdangarin, was sentenced to over six years in prison on charges including fraud and tax evasion.

There were 16 other defendants in what became known as the Nóos case that began in 2010, including former government minister Jaume Matas, sentenced to almost four years, and Diego Torres, Urdangarin's former business partner, sentenced to over eight years.

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The case can be appealed in the Supreme Court, but it was not clear whether Urdangarin would choose to do so. Cristina also lost her title of Duchess of Palma the following year. As the scandal unfolded, Former King Juan Carlos' decision to abdicate the throne in 2014 was seen as an effort to allow his son Felipe to restore the monarchy's credibility.

The royal family did not comment on the ruling, though the place expressed its "greatest respect for the independence of the judiciary".

Princess Cristina was facing a possible prison sentence of eight years if she had been found guilty.

Princess Cristina was co-owner of a real estate consultancy, one of several used to assist in the laundering of the skimmed off money.

After her 1997 fairytale marriage to Urdangarin, Princess Cristina was constantly in the celebrity spotlight and won praise for having a salaried job.

Her lawyer, Miquel Roca braved the media scrum:"As you can imagine, I have told her the verdict and she was satisfied, but very upset about her husband, she thinks it is unfair because she believes and has always believed that her husband is innocent".