Spanish princess Cristina de Borbon charged with money laundering and fraud in major corruption investigation

Princess could be put on trial in connection with husband Inaki Urdangarin's business dealings

Spanish princess Cristina de Borbon has been charged with fraud and money laundering as part of a major corruption investigation that has tarnished the royal family's reputation.

On Wednesday, a Palma de Mallorca court formalised the charges against the princess following a two-year long investigation into her husband Inaki Urdangarin's business dealings.

Mr Urdangarin is accused of embezzling millions of euros through a non-profit organisation, Noos foundation, of which he served as co-president between 2004 and 2006, along with business partner, Diego Torres.

Both men allegedly used their connections to win public contracts and received more than 5 millions euros (£4.6m) by hugely overcharging local authorities to organise sporting events in Valencia and the Balearic Islands.

Mr Urdangarin allegedly transferred funds to his real estate company, Aizoon, which princess Cristina co-owned at the time, and used the money to cover personal expenses.

The couple could now be put on trial just days after her brother, Felipe, was crowned King of Spain after Juan Carlos announced he would abdicate in favour on his son on 2 June following a series of scandals, including an expensive elephant hunting trip that infuriated many Spaniards facing mass unemployment.

Princess Cristina did not attend the ceremony last week and reports suggest the relationship between the two is almost non-existent as Felipe seeks to distance himself from the scandal. Her husband has been barred from attending public events.

Princess Cristina and Mr Urdangarin deny wrongdoing. The pair are expected to appeal the decision with a final ruling due later this year.

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