A Spanish judge has called for Princess Cristina and her husband to stand trial on tax fraud and money laundering charges.
The sister of newly-crowned King Felipe VI was caught up in an investigation of the business dealings of her husband Inaki Urdangarin.
Urdangarin is accused of embezzling several million euros of public funds and a trial would centre on his business dealings.
They have both denied any wrongdoing.
The judge claims she was an “active participant in organising and budgeting his events,” but her lawyer, Miguel Rocca Junyent says she has no case to answer.
“We feel the judge’s criteria doesn’t take into account the position of the tax office which, on several occasions, pointed out that Dona Cristina had not committed any illegal activity,” said Junyent. “Even the public prosecutor has repeatedly said that there’s no basis for these accusations.”
The judge says there is evidence the couple paid for dozens of personal items out of a shell company Urdangarin created to launder proceeds from a charitable foundation.
Her brother Felipe has distanced himself from her but
it is nonetheless a massive blow to the royal family’s efforts to rebuild its reputation, although polls have shown its popularity has risen since the abdication of King Juan Carlos.
If found guilty in a trial, the couple could face several years in jail.