In a wide-ranging tax fraud case that captivated Spain, Princess Cristina was found not guilty Friday of being an accessory to fraud but her husband was convicted and sentenced to more than six years in prison.
A panel of judges ruled that Cristina, the 51-year-old sister of King Felipe VI, will be required to pay nearly Euros 265,000 in fines because the court considers that she indirectly benefited from the fraud.
Her husband, Inaki Urdangarin, was found guilty of evading taxes, fraud and various other charges. He was sentenced to six years and three months in prison and a fine of Euros 512,000.
Urdangarin, a 49-year-old former handball Olympic medalist, can still appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, but the public prosecutor announced Friday that it would request a hearing to decide whether he needs to await developments in jail. He is still free so far.
The trial centered on accusations that Urdangarin used his former title, the Duke of Palma, to embezzle about Euros 6 million in public funds for the nonprofit Noos Institute.
The provincial court in Palma de Mallorca, in the Balearic Islands, found six other people in the trial guilty, including Urdangarin's business partner and a former regional president of the Balearic Islands. Ten people in all, including Cristina, were absolved by the court.
In a country mired with corruption scandals in politics and business, Spaniards paid close attention to the Noos case since the first signs of Urdangarin's involvement emerged six years ago. 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.
When his sister Cristina was indicted, King Felipe cancelled her titles of Duchess of Palma, granted by their father in 1997 on the occasion of her wedding. She and Urdangarin are no longer invited to any official events by the Royal House.
Felipe and Queen Letizia made no immediate comment Friday on the court's rulings during a visit to a museum in Madrid with the Hungarian president. A spokesman for the Royal House told Spanish media they respected the courts' independence.