Princess Cristina of Spain is officially involved in the “Noos Case,” in which her husband Inaki Urdangarin is being investigated for alleged misappropriation of public funds. The news has hit the media the same week that the book “Adios Princesa“ (“Goodbye Princess”) written by Letizia Ortiz’s cousin, reveals the most private secrets of the future Queen of Spain. This is all culminating in more than just a new headache for the Royal Family, who, in recent months, has lost its privileged status and prestige.
Judge Jose Castro has released a statement confirming that Princess Cristina is already part of the judicial process underway against Urdangarin and his former partner, Diego Torres. Princess Cristina will be defended by lawyers Miquel Roca and Jesus Silva. She is not expected to be in court on April 27 as it was initially planned however, since the prosecutor of the case has appealed Princess Cristina’s imputation and will now have to wait until the Provincial Courts of Palma de Mallorca to decide, on May 6, whether to confirm the attribution of the princess or not.
The prosecutor, Pedro Horrach, indicated that there is insufficient evidence of the involvement Princess Cristina may have had in the shady business of Urdangarin and Torres and the Special Prosecutor’s Office for Corruption has agreed. However, Judge Castro seems to believe that the princess knew about her husband’s activities and allowed him to use her name and extremely privileged social position to get preferential treatment from private companies and public administrations. Furthermore, Princess Cristina co-owns (with her husband) Aizoon society, a company that Urdangarin used to bill fictional works and justify millions earned by Noos Institute, which apparently was a nonprofit institution aimed at promoting sports and supporting charitable causes.
The judge also believes it is not credible that King Juan Carlos, who advised Urdangarin to stop his business and get out of Spain in 2006, didn’t discuss the situation with his own daughter, Cristina herself.
Princess Cristina, the first Royal ever to be charged with a crime?
The subpoena of Princess Cristina is a historical first. Never before has a member of a European reigning family been involved in a court case such as this. So what will happen from here forward? If Princess Cristina is finally called to testify, the judge may make one (or more) of several decisions. First, he might determine that there is insufficient evidence to implicate the princess, and dismiss the case. Castro might also order the seizure of Princess Cristina’s bank accounts or even withdraw her passport. If at the end of the proceedings, the judge believes there is evidence enough, the princess could go from being subpoenaed to be charged. In that case, she would have to go to trial and wait for the court to decide whether she’s guilty or innocent.
Next stop, Qatar
In short, it seems very unlikely that Princess Cristina will someday end up in jail. We’ll see what happens with her husband, though. For now, Urdangarin can finally breathe a little easier. Valero Rivera, his close friend and former coach of the Spanish handball team, where Urdangarin played for 15 years, has offered him a position as his assistant, coaching Qatar’s national team.
Although Urdangarin hasn’t accepted the offer yet, it has been known that King Juan Carlos is probably responsible for the seeming stroke of good luck. The monarch has admitted he has recently talked on the phone with his “good friend” the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al Thani, to discuss “issues of common interest.” Although Juan Carlos hasn’t confirmed whether the future of his daughter’s family was one of those issues, it seems clear that the king wanted to intercede to benefit Princess Cristina and her four children.
Qatar’s bid is convenient for Urdangarin, who currently has no job and is facing the bail set by the judge, which amounts to nearly $10 million. Apparently, Princess Cristina and her children would stay in Barcelona, where the family resides and would move to Qatar at the end of the school year.
However, this move could also be a ploy to facilitate the separation of the couple without creating too much public speculation. So far, Princess Cristina has blindly supported her husband, to whom she has always been deeply in love, but is rumored that Diego Torres, the traitor of this story, has filed away some explosive emails that will soon prove Urdangarin’s extramarital affairs to be true. No doubt we will hear from them in upcoming editions of the Spanish Royal soap opera as the plot continues to thicken.