Lawyers of Spain’s Infanta Cristina attend to media after she testified in front of judge Jose Castro over tax fraud and money-laundering charges in Palma de Mallorca February 8, 2014. They later accused the judge of “corruptela.”
Damien Sharkov writes for Newsweek.com–Spanish judges will begin 2015 by dealing with a backlog of corruption cases left unresolved from last year, totalling at 150 according to Spanish daily newspaper El Pais which called the upcoming court proceedings “an inheritance from the past”. Several of these cases involve high profile persons and groups of defendants with European news agency Europa Press estimating the eventual verdicts will determine the fates of more than 2,000 people facing corruption charges.
Among these cases is the infamous ‘Gurtel’ case against Spanish businessman Francisco Correa which allegedly implicates Spain’s ruling Partido Popular (PP) in bribery, tax evasion and money laundering. The total amount of public funds allegedly lost is estimated at no less than €120 million.
Also implicated in corruption charges and awaiting trial are Spain’s Princess Cristina, sister of King Felipe VI, alongside her husband Iñaki Urdangarin. Throughout 2014 issues of corruption at the highest level of Spanish authority became a leading issue in the country, causing widespread disenchantment with politics and public institutions and being reflected in the meteoric rise of grassroots, anti-establishment party Podemos, which is currently ahead the polls, despite being less than a year old.