Spain's Princess Cristina faces new tax probe

MADRID Fri May 24, 2013 10:28am EDT

Spain's Infanta Cristina attends a news conference in Mexico City September 7, 2009. REUTERS/Daniel Aguilar

Spain's Infanta Cristina attends a news conference in Mexico City September 7, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Daniel Aguilar

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MADRID (Reuters) - A Spanish judge has opened an investigation into Princess Cristina's tax returns after an earlier charge of being an accomplice in an embezzlement case against her husband was dropped.

In a judicial writ made public on Friday, Examining Magistrate Jose Castro said he has asked the tax agency for information to determine whether Cristina, daughter of Spain's King Juan Carlos, engaged in tax evasion or money laundering between 2007 and 2010.

Cristina's husband Inaki Urdangarin is charged with fraud, tax evasion, falsifying documents and embezzling 6 million euros in public funds as head of the charitable Noos Foundation.

Urdangarin, former Olympic handball player, organized sports business conventions and allegedly abused his royal connections to over-charge local governments for the events.

Cristina was briefly accused of complicity in the embezzlement charge but it was dropped for lack of evidence.

But Castro said the princess may have committed tax fraud as half owner of the holding company Aizoon, set up by her husband to allegedly channel funds from the Noos Foundation.

The embezzlement case has deepened public discontent with the royal family at a time when ordinary Spaniards are struggling with 27 percent unemployment and a long-running recession.

A spokesman for the royal family's press office declined to comment.

(Reporting by Tracy Rucinski; Editing by Fiona Ortiz and Sonya Hepinstall)

(This story is refiled to fix headline)

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