Spanish royal Princess Cristina is making an unprecedented court appearance to testify in the corruption case against her husband, Inaki Urdangarin.
The proceedings were taking place in a Palma de Mallorca — in the Balearic Islands of Spain — court house and are unprecedented for the royal family.
For the first time in history a member of the Spanish monarchy is questioned in connection with a criminal proceeding.
Princess Cristina is the daughter of reigning monarchs King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia, who throughout their rule have been popular among their subjects, however, in part because of this scandal their likability has suffered.
Even though the royal and her husband deny any wrongdoing, Inaki Urdangarin has allegedly defrauded regional governments of millions of euros of tax payers’ money.
The case, which has been ongoing for about three-years, is bringing scrutiny to all those involved including Princess Cristina, her husband, and the entire Spanish royal family.
Headlines about the case are an almost daily occurrence in the tabloids of Spain, further embarrassing the proud house of Borbón.
Princess Cristina’s appearance drew hundreds of protesters that are complaining about government corruption and want justice to be done, whether the defendants are royalty or not.
Reporting outside the courthouse in Palma de Mallorca Euronews correspondent Guillermo Gayo said:
“The questioning of Princess Cristina before the judge as a suspect has produced an enormous expectation in the country.”
“It is taking place here in Palma a city where Cristina holds the title of duchess. Anti-monarchy groups have mounted a demonstration demanding the reinstatement of the Republic and others supporting a variety of social demands.”
The 48-year-old Spanish royal stepped out of her car parked at the back entrance of the building, looking calm and smiling slightly, but did not address the hundreds of reporters watching her every move.
Protesters chanting could be heard from the front of the building, according to an account from the BBC.
Princess Cristina’s unprecedented appearance at the courthouse has been the topic of much discussion and speculation about whether she would be shielded from the cameras or walk the short distance to the entrance.
— Claire Brock (@ClaireBrockTV3) February 8, 2014
Once in the court room, Princess Cristina faced questions from a judge in the alleged fraud and money laundering case against her husband.
Although the proceedings were closed to journalists, Manuel Delgado, one of the lawyers involved in the case said of Princess Cristina’s testimony:
“She is exercising her right not to give answers that would compromise her. She is not diverging from the script we expected: she does not know, she does not answer and that’s it.”
The allegations against Princess Cristina’s husband stem from the non-profit organization called Noos, of which Inaki Urdangarin was president.
Urdangarin is accused of inflating prices at an event the organization put together in the Balearic Islands and Valencia, which grossed him about $7.5 million of public’s money.
Princess Cristina is suspected of having spent some of that money for personal purposes and investigators want to know what she knew about her husband’s business ventures.