Preliminary charges again filed against Spain’s Princess Cristina

Spain's Princess Cristina

MADRID (CNN) — Preliminary charges of financial corruption have been filed against Spain’s Princess Cristina for a second time by a judge investigating her husband for alleged diversion of public funds.

Judge Jose Castro is leading the investigation at a local court in Palma de Mallorca, in Spain’s Balearic Islands.

The magistrate brought preliminary charges against the princess in April last yearbut they were dropped in May, after prosecutors appealed to a provincial court, citing insufficient evidence.

But Castro continued his investigation and has now decided to bring preliminary charges again. Prosecutors are once more opposing them.

A court spokeswoman confirmed to CNN on Tuesday that the conflict between Castro and the prosecution would automatically see the issue returned to the provincial court.

A panel of four judges will then decide whether to uphold the preliminary charges.

It is expected that the panel will make a decision ahead of the March 8 court date requested by Castro.

The princess’s husband, Inaki Urdangarin, is accused of diverting, for private use, public funds earmarked for his nonprofit foundation.

Urdangarin, an Olympic medalist in handball, led a private foundation that secured contracts from regional governments to promote sports and tourism.

He has faced preliminary charges for more than a year. The preliminary charges could eventually be dropped, but a filing of indictments would set a trial in motion.

Through their lawyers, the princess and Urdangarin have denied any wrongdoing.

Urdangarin was granted the title of Duke of Palma when he married Princess Cristina, King Juan Carlos’ youngest daughter, in 1997.

The fraud scandal has created unprecedented problems for Spain’s popular royal family and kept the country riveted.

In April, the royal household revealed that it had asked the government in February to include the monarchy in a new law on transparency — regarding financing and other activities.

The government approved the law in September.

By Al Goodman

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