imputar - Fiscal - acusación particular - acusación popular

January 21, 2015

 

 

In 2014 Spain's Princess Cristina, the Duchess of Palma, was imputada (formally named a suspect) in the corruption case surrounding her husband Iñaki Urdangarin. As such, she was summoned to hacer  declaración (testify) before the juez instructor (investigating judge) José Castro. In December 2014 it was revealed that Judge Castro had issued an auto de apertura de juicio oral against the Princess, ordering her to stand trial for tax evasion.

 

This order is controversial because neither el Fiscal anticorrupción (the public prosecutor, in this case Pedro Horrach) nor the Acusador particular (the private prosecutor on behalf of the victim, in this case the Abogacía del Estado on behalf of the Agencia Tributaria--Spain's tax authorities) believes that she should be prosecuted. The only prosecution against her is by an Acusador popular (in this case, Manos Limpias), which is seeking an eight-year prison term for Princess Cristina. The Tribunal Supremo (Spanish Supreme Court) has established a doctrine known as la doctrina Botín whereby a prosecution against a person cannot continue when neither the fiscal (public prosecutor) nor the acusación particular (private prosecutor) seeks it and prosecution is only sought by the acusación popular. However, Judge Castro has ruled that the doctrine does not apply in this case because Princess Cristina is being prosecuted as an accomplice to her husband's crimes, and all three prosecutors (fiscal, acusación particular and acusación popular) seek to prosecute him. 

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