Spain's Princess Cristina Testifies In Corruption Case

The Spanish princess appeared in court Saturday as part of a criminal investigation. Princess Cristina isn\'t being charged with a crime right now.
Posted at 9:39 AM, Feb 08, 2014

Spain's Princess Cristina appeared in court to face questions about alleged corruption Saturday — making her the first member of the Spanish royal family to appear in court as part of a criminal investigation.

"Princess Cristina is being investigated over the business dealings of her husband who's alleged to heave defrauded regional governments of millions of euros." (Via BBC)

The New York Times reports the princess' husband is accused of using his connections as part of Spain's royal family to gain no-bid contracts from regional governments and then "siphoned millions of euros from the contract fees and channeled them to other companies and offshore accounts."

The Independent notes Princess Christina, in turn, is accused of misusing that money to pay for her lavish lifestyle, including a remodeling of her Barcelona mansion. 

Princess Cristina has had little to say to reporters. The BBC said Saturday's court date was a "closed-door hearing" and adds Princess Cristina did not have to answer any questions from reporters before going into the courtroom.

But a Spanish newspaper editor explains to CNN, Princess Cristina plays a big role in handling the finances of the company she and her husband own. 

"They use that company, Inda says, to pocket the public money, and to pay the lowest possible tax or simply cheat the treasury. In that business, Princess Cristina is the one who signs the annual reports."

CNN adds the legal developments involving Princess Cristina have "riveted" people in Spain. It comes as a recent poll from the European Commission finds 95 percent of Spaniards believe corruption is widespread the country.

And as NPR notes, the royal family's approval rating has fallen to its lowest point since the late 1970s — around the same time Spain implemented its democratic government.

To be clear, Princess Cristina hasn't been charged with any crime, but The Telegraph notes she's being called a suspect in the investigation. Under Spanish law, only the King of Spain has immunity from prosecution.