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Witnesses For The Defence – 17 Feb 2014

Member: Nifa

If ever anyone needed expert witnesses on their side, it must be the Infanta Cristina, daughter of King Juan Carlos of Spain, who appeared in court last weekend to face questions over an alleged financial scandal involving her husband, the Duke of Palma.  Inaki Urdangarin has already been charged with fraud, tax evasion, falsifying documents and embezzling €6m of public funds. It is alleged he and his business partner overcharged regional governments to stage sporting events and then pocketed the cash.

Her husband denies the charges, but the prosecutor investigating the case claims there is enough evidence to suggest that the Princess not only knew about the alleged scam but also helped to hide the proceeds.  However, Cristina’s defence against accusations that she charged everything from cocktail parties to dance classes to a company jointly owned with her husband was that she loved and trusted him. If, as a result, she benefited from a half-share in the illicit income, that would be his fault, as he ran the business side of things.

Spouses of alleged criminals often need the help of forensic accountants, as the financial dealings between married couples are usually difficult to separate out and the defence of ignorance is not enough in the UK.  What the accused needs in these cases is an expert who can prove that he or she was not involved in a conspiracy, which they do through the careful sifting and evaluation of all the evidence, not just accepting a circumstantial picture that makes it appear as if they were ‘in on it’.

Author: Roger Isaacs – 17 February 2014

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