Skip to main content

Preliminary charges dropped against Spain's princess

By Al Goodman, CNN
May 8, 2013 -- Updated 0102 GMT (0902 HKT)
Princess Cristina of Spain on April 8, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.
Princess Cristina of Spain on April 8, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The charges stemmed from a corruption case involving the princess' husband
  • It was the first time since 1975 a member of the royal family faced preliminary charges
  • Princess Cristina's husband is being investigated in a financial corruption case

Madrid (CNN) -- Preliminary charges against Spain's Princess Cristina in a financial corruption case will be dropped, an appeals court ruled Tuesday.

In a 2-1 decision, an appeals court in the Balearic Islands agreed with prosecutors and the princess' defense team, which argued there was insufficient evidence to bring the unprecedented preliminary charges against the princess, according to a copy of the court order viewed by CNN.

Princess Cristina is the youngest daughter of King Juan Carlos.

Scandal strikes Spain's royal family
What does Princess Cristina know?

The preliminary charges were brought last month by a magistrate investigating the case in which the princess' husband, Inaki Urgandarin, already faces preliminary charges.

There was no immediate reaction from the palace on the development.

Judge Jose Castro issued the order that brought the preliminary charges against Princess Cristina April 3. The same judge had decided in 2012 there was insufficient evidence to name the princess as a suspect, but said in his decision last month that further investigation changed his mind and that Princess Cristina should be questioned regarding "the handling and destination of funds obtained" through her husband's foundation and a separate company.

Urgandarin has faced preliminary charges for more than a year. He is accused of diverting, for private use, public funds earmarked for his non-profit foundation. He denies any wrongdoing.

The scandal already had created unprecedented problems for the popular royal family due to Urdangarin's alleged involvement, but when the princess was also named as a suspect, it became top news at home and abroad.

It was the first time since democracy was restored in Spain in 1975 that a member of King Juan Carlos' immediate family faced preliminary charges of any kind, in any case, a spokesman for the Royal Household said.

The government's monthly CIS poll for April showed the Royal Household has an approval rating of just 3.68 on a scale of 10, below the military, police forces and news media, but higher than the government, unions and a business owners association. In October 2011, it had a rating of 4.89, and in previous years it was among the most highly rated of Spanish institutions.

In April, the Royal Household made public for the first time that it had quietly asked the government in February to include the monarchy in a new law on transparency -- regarding financing and other activities -- that is currently being debated and pending approval, a Royal Household senior spokesman said.

READ: Spain's Princess Cristina faces charges in corruption scandal

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0254 GMT (1054 HKT)
A decade on from devastating 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the Red Cross' Matthias Schmale says that the lessons learned have made us safer.
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0024 GMT (0824 HKT)
As soon as word broke that "The Interview" will hit some theaters, celebrations erupted across social media -- including from the stars of the film.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1844 GMT (0244 HKT)
Did a rogue hacker -- or the U.S. government -- cut the cord for the regime's Internet?
December 24, 2014 -- Updated 0106 GMT (0906 HKT)
Monaco's newborn royals, Princess Gabriella and Crown Prince Jacques Honore Rainier, posed for their first official photos with their parents.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 1706 GMT (0106 HKT)
Tim Berners-Lee, the man credited with inventing the world wide web, gives a speech on April 18, 2012 in Lyon, central France, during the World Wide Web 2012 international conference on April 18, 2012 in Lyon.
What's next for the Internet? Acclaimed scientist Sir Tim Berners-Lee shares his insights.
December 23, 2014 -- Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
The United States and North Korea have long been locked in a bitter cycle of escalating and deescalating tensions. But the current cyber conflict may be especially hard to predict.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 2100 GMT (0500 HKT)
A chilling video shows Boko Haram executing dozens of non-Muslims.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1134 GMT (1934 HKT)
New planes, new flight tests ... but will we get cheaper airfares?
December 21, 2014 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
The killing of two cops could not have happened at a worse time for a city embroiled in a public battle over police-community relations, Errol Louis says.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 0251 GMT (1051 HKT)
The gateway to Japan's capital, Tokyo Station, is celebrating its centennial this month -- and it has never looked better.
December 20, 2014 -- Updated 1621 GMT (0021 HKT)
Unicef has warned that more than 1.7 million children in conflict-torn areas of eastern Ukraine face an "extremely serious" situation.
December 22, 2014 -- Updated 1701 GMT (0101 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT