The Baleares Court decided not to apply the ‘Botín doctrine’ to the sister of the King
The First Section of the Baleares Provincial Court has ruled in an 85 page statement that the Infanta Cristina
will sit on the accused bench and will judged on whether she was the necessary collaborator in the fiscal crimes in the Nóos framework.
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The Tribunal has therefore rejected the application of the ‘Botín doctrine’ – which establishes that nobody can be taken to court facing tax evasion of fiscal crimes with the a popular accusation. So therefore, the Infanta will have to return to court and sit on the accused bench from February 9. The statement is not open to appeal. The Royal Household limited to express ‘their absolute respect for the independence of Judicial Power’
The daughter of Juan Carlos I has only been accused by the popular accusation from the union Manos Limpias (clean hands) who have requested eight years in prison for being the necessary collaborator with the crimes presumably committed by her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin. The Prosecution and the State Advocacy both asked for the penal cause against her to be archived.
In the highly technical statement, the three judges who make up the tribunal are in difference to the case of dismissal in 2007 for the late banker Emilio Botín for fiscal crimes. According to the statement the Supreme Court sentence for the acquittal of Emilio Botín ‘has no basis in the rules of current criminal procedure’.
The three judges, in the report signed unanimously, refer to the Constitutional Court – ‘the existence of the popular accusation in criminal proceedings is integrated into the content of the right to an effective judiciary and enjoys the protection which is granted by the constitutional measures of guarantee’.
The three judges dismiss in their statement a good part of the arguments placed by the prosecutor, Pedro Horrach, the State Advocacy and the defence of the very Infanta, directed by the lawyers Miquel Roca and Jesús María Silva, who had argued that Manos Limpias had no legitimacy to sustain in solitary the accusation against the sister of King Felipe, especially later when the Tax Office considered the fiscal irregularities allegedly committed by the Infanta could not be classified as crime, but only as an administrative fault punished with a fine.
The defence of the Infanta accused Manos Limpias of presenting the case for mere ‘notoriety’ and believing that the Botín doctrine would apply against popular accusations but they did so with the wish only to disrupt the proceedings. The tribunal considered ‘the actual legislation has mechanisms of correction, such as demanding bail’ and other controls outlined in the Law for Criminal Prosecution.
The decision of the court, composed of the magistrates Samantha Romero, Eleanor Moyà and Rocío Martín, supposes that the sister to the King will have to return to court to sit on the accused bench, with her husband Iñaki Urdangarin and the other 16 under investigation.
During the first session of the case held on January 11 in Palma de Mallorca, in which the parties put forward the archiving of part of the cause and new evidence, the prosecutor Horrach indicated then that the tribunal which will judge the Nóos case will take note of the ‘doctrine handed down by the Supreme Court’ and if that is not the case is would suppose ‘unjustified discrimination’ against Cristina de Borbón.
A new report from the Tax Office contributed by the prosecutor, insisted you cannot transfer to the penal ambit what supposes is an administrative infraction and the fact that the Infanta was a partner in Aizoon and not the administrator, given the titular was Urdangarin, would condition her being exonerated as the necessary collaborator.
The jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, known as the Botín doctrine, applied for the first time in 2007 on the late president of Banco Santander, Emilio Botín, supposed in fiscal crimes an oral case presented by a popular accusation cannot take place, unless there is an accusation from prosecutor of the State Advocacy or the Tax Office.