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Spain's Princess Cristina absolved in tax fraud trial - court

Spain's Princess Cristina absolved in tax fraud trial - court”

Neither Princess Cristina nor her husband were in court for the February 17 verdict, which was originally expected to be handed down a year ago.

The trial centred on accusations that Urdangarin used his former title, Duke of Palma, to embezzle about 6 million euros ($6.6 million) in public funds for the non-profit Noos Institute.

Although she was absolved, Princess Cristina will still have to pay a fine of €265,000 (£227,000; $282,000) as she has civil responsibility.

Mr Urdangarin was fined 513,000 euros for the public money he earned through fraudulent contracts.

Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player, was given a jail term of six years and three months by a court in Palma de Mallorca on counts including fraud and influence peddling.

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There were 16 other defendants in what became known as the Nóos case that began in 2010, including former government minister Jaume Matas, sentenced to almost four years, and Diego Torres, Urdangarin's former business partner, sentenced to over eight years.

When King Felipe VI ascended the throne in 2014, he removed Cristina and her sister Elena from royal duties as part of a modernisation of the monarchy.

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

Felipe and Queen Letizia made no immediate comment Friday on the court's rulings during a visit to a museum in Madrid with the Hungarian president.

"No one is above the law", said a spokesman of Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's conservative government on Friday.

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The Noos Institute organized conferences and sports-related events. Torres was given an eight-and-a-half year sentence.

Among the companies they used was Aizoon, a real estate consulting company jointly owned by Cristina and Urdangarin. "She believes his conviction is unjust, because she has always believed - and still believes - that he is innocent", Roca told reporters in Barcelona.

Princess Cristina now lives in Switzerland.

Spanish media said the couple learned of the ruling, which was delivered in absentia, in Geneva, where they have lived since 2013 with their children.

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