Princess Cristina and Iñaki Urdangarin returned to court today for the start of the trial's conclusions. | Miquel A. Cañellas


Princess Cristina returned to court in Palma today to hear the start of the conclusions and summings-up in the Nóos trial. Also back in court, therefore, were her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin, his former business partner at the Instituto Nóos, Diego Torres, and the former Balearic president, Jaume Matas. There are seventeen accused in all who now await the outcome of the trial that started in January.

Manos Limpias, the "union" which is prosecuting the princess in a private action, is continuing to call for a sentence of eight years for what it claims was her part in tax offences committed by her husband via the company Aizoon, of which they were co-owners. Manos Limpias does not see any reason to reduce its sentence petition, especially as the princess did not provide answers (except to her defence lawyer) during her appearance in court. The Manos Limpias lawyer, Virginia López Negrete, is also calling for the princess to repay over two million euros and to be prevented from receiving any grants or tax benefits for a period of six years.

The alleged fraud via Aizoon amounted to over 330,000 euros, and it was one committed by Urdangarin. But it could not have happened, says Manos Limpias, without the help of the princess. "The Infanta knew that everything she was doing was illegal, but she chose to look the other way."

The princess has not faced a state prosecution, unlike the majority of the accused, including Urdangarin, Torres and Matas. The chief prosecutor, Pedro Horrach, has revised the state's petition for the sentence Matas should receive. As the ex-president has cooperated and accepted responsibility, for which he repaid over 860,000 euros on Thursday, the petition has been cut to five years from eleven.

Matas' role in the Nóos affair was in the authorisation of the payment of public funds for events organised by the Instituto Nóos which the prosecution has maintained were deliberately inflated. In all, Nóos received over six million euros for events, mainly from the Balearic and Valencia governments.

Urdangarin and Torres, the principal beneficiaries therefore, face calls for sentences of nineteen and sixteen years respectively. The prosecutor has not asked for a reduction in these sentences as neither of them has demonstrated any repentance or repaid any of the funds that were allegedly diverted illegally.