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Spanish king's brother-in-law convicted as princess is cleared

Spanish king's brother-in-law convicted as princess is cleared

Cristina's husband, Inaki Urdangarin, was sentenced to over six years in prison on charges including fraud and tax evasion, while the princess was ordered to pay a fine of €265,000 ($282,000) because she had benefited from her husband's wrongdoing.

Cristina, who is sixth-in-line to the throne, was the first member of the Spanish royal family to go on trial since the monarchy's restoration in 1975.

The case was heard in Palma de Mallorca, the regional capital of Spain's Balearic Islands, because many of Urdangarin's business deals related to the area. Her husband was fined 512,000 euros.

Princess Cristina was facing a possible prison sentence of eight years if she had been found guilty.

The decision, which can be appealed to the Supreme Court, came after a year-long trial that was seen as a test of whether Spain's rich and powerful were accountable to the law.

She was stripped of her official title - Duchess of Palma - by her brother the King ahead of her trial.

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His wife, Princess Cristina, the sister of King Felipe VI, was found not guilty of being an accessory to tax fraud.

The Spanish royal household has refused to comment about the result of the trial other than expressing its "absolute respect for the independence of the judiciary".

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

Lauren adds, "Cristina and her husband are believed to be at their luxury villa in Switzerland, and were not in the courtroom for sentencing".

Her lawyer, Miquel Roca braved the media scrum:"As you can imagine, I have told her the verdict and she was satisfied, but very upset about her husband, she thinks it is unfair because she believes and has always believed that her husband is innocent".

After her 1997 fairytale marriage to Urdangarin, Princess Cristina was constantly in the celebrity spotlight and won praise for having a salaried job. On Friday, reporters waited outside their house in Geneva, hoping in vain to get a glimpse of the couple.

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