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Infanta Cristina of Spain faces trial for tax evasion

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Infanta Cristina of Spain, the sister of King Felipe VI, will be tried in court for tax fraud, a court in Palma de Mallorca has ruled. Her lawyer said before Friday's hearing that the Infanta, as the princess is known, was "upbeat" about the appeal she had lodged. 

Cristina had been seeking to have all corruption charges against her dismissed but now faces trial, possibly in 2016. While the court's decision comes as a blow, she will not face charges for money laundering.

This comes nine months after the princess first appeared in court to answer questions on allegations related to the so-called Noos case against her husband Iñaki Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player.

It seemed like a fairytale when the couple married in Barcelona in 1997, with Cristina given away by her father King Juan Carlos who conferred on them the title of the Duke and Duchess of Palma de Mallorca. She went on to have four children with the tall, dashing sportsman, who served as captain of the bronze-medal winning team at the 2000 Olympics.


 On retiring from sport, Iñaki established the Noos Institute, a foundation organising sport and tourism events in the Balearic islands.Then in 2011, he was accused, along with a former business partner, of exploiting his royal connections to win contracts and embezzle €6m in public funds. 

Prosecutors allege that the former Olympic handball player funnelled money through the Institute, charging inflated amounts to organise events.

 alt=© Photo: Getty Images

Some of the money was laundered, investigators allege, through Aizoon, a company owned by the princess and her husband. The Spanish royal has stood by Iñaki throughout the case, declaring that she has "a lot of confidence" in his innocence. 

During the proceedings it has been business as usual for Cristina, who has been seen taking her children to school in Geneva, where she works at the Caixa Foundation. Her lawyer telephoned her with the latest news on the case in Switzerland.

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