Spain's Princess Cristina Acquitted in Tax Fraud Trial

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Spain's Princess Cristina (R) arrives at the court with her husband Inaki Urdangarin, to appear on charges of tax fraud, as a long-running investigation into the business affairs of her husband goes to trial in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, January 11, 2016.

According to El Pais newspaper, Urdangarin was sentenced to six years and three months in prison for embezzlement and fraud, among other charges.

Though the judge accepted the princess's argument that she wasn't aware of any wrongdoing by her spouse, she was nonetheless fined 265,000 euros ($282,000) for benefiting from his gains.

His wife, Princess Cristina, the sister of King Felipe VI, was found not guilty of being an accessory to tax fraud.

The trial, and the long investigation that preceded it, had been closely followed in a country inured to high-level political and banking corruption cases, and where inequality has grown in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.

Urdangarin and his former business partner Diego Torres were accused of embezzling about €6m (£4.6m) in public money that was paid to their non-profit organisation, the Nóos Institute, to organise events.

Cristina was suspected of involvement in fraudulent activities carried out by her husband.

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A spokesman for the Royal House told Spanish media that the royal family respected the court's decision.

The legal team has five days to lodge an appeal with the Supreme Court.

There was no immediate comment from King Felipe and Queen Letizia, who received news of the ruling during a visit to a museum in Madrid with the Hungarian president.

Prosecutors cited one instance when Urdangarin's company charged 1.2 million euros for a two-day tourism and sports event. She faced up to eight years in prison if found guilty.

The princess was stripped of her title as Duchess of Palma, but still has rights to succession, which put her sixth in line to the throne.

Some of the foundation's money was transferred to a private company and used to pay for family holidays, home furnishings and theatre tickets, prosecutors said.

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