Spanish corruption lawyer held over fraud

The leader of the anti-corruption group that brought criminal tax fraud charges against Spain’s Princess Cristina has himself been arrested by financial crimes officers.

A police official said Manos Limpias (Clean Hands) chief Miguel Bernad was detained at his Madrid home.

The group has pursued criminal tax fraud charges punishable by up to eight years in prison against Cristina, the sister of King Felipe VI, after prosecutors declined to do so, saying Cristina should face an administrative fine at most.

Cristina’s trial is taking place in the island city of Palma de Mallorca.

The Manos Limpias lawyer questioning witnesses in the Cristina case, Virginia Negrete, told reporters in Palma de Mallorca she had no details about why Mr Bernad, also a lawyer, was arrested.

The landmark trial started in January, with Cristina appearing in court and answering questions as the first member of Spain’s royal family facing charges since the monarchy was restored in 1975.

She is accused of failing to declare as income personal expenses paid by a real estate company she owned with her husband, Inaki Urdangarin.

Mr Urdangarin in the same trial face charges of embezzling up to €6.2m from contracts for sports conferences and events that were never performed.


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