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Spain's Princess Cristina tax fraud trial to start in January

Cristina de Borbon
Europa Press | Europa Press | Getty Images

Cristina de Borbon, sister of Spain's King Felipe VI, will appear in court on January 11 on tax fraud charges, court documents showed on Tuesday, as part of a wider investigation into her husband's Noos Foundation charity.

The high-profile case is emblematic of how corruption has permeated the top ranks of politicians, bankers and other institutional figures in Spain, eroding Spaniards' faith in their leaders and institutions.

Corruption will be a major theme in December's general election with the two main political parties, tarnished by graft scandals of their own, running neck-to-neck while challenged by newcomers promising cleaner government.

In this handout image provided by the Spanish Royal Palace, King Juan Carlos of Spain signs papers to confirm his abdication on June 02, 2014 in Madrid, Spain.
Spain's King Juan Carlos abdicates

Prosecutors have conducted a lengthy investigation into the affairs of Cristina's husband, former Olympic handball player Inaki Urdangarin, centered on large payments from public bodies to the Noos Charity for sports promotional activities.

He has been charged with fraud, tax evasion, falsifying documents and embezzlement of public funds. Cristina, no longer a member of the royal family after former King Juan Carlos abdicated last year, is accused of tax fraud.

Both deny any wrong-doing.

The trial, with 18 people accused in total, is due to start on January 11 on the Balearic island of Mallorca.

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