efe_epaMadrid

The brother-in-law of Spain's king has been sentenced on Friday to six years and three months in prison over a corruption and fraud case that also involved his wife Princess Cristina.

A court in Palma de Mallorca did not hand down a jail term for the sister of King Felipe VI, but ordered her to pay a fine of 265,088 euros ($282,252) for having profited from the tax fraud committed by her husband, Iñaki Urdangarin.

The sentence, that referred to Urdangarin by his Castilian name of Ignacio, said Cristina "must bear liability for having profited, and will be jointly and in solidarity with Ignacio Urdangarin be held responsible for his tax liability up to the amount of 265,088.42 euros."

Former Olympic sportsman Urdangarin, who married the daughter of then-King Juan Carlos of Spain in a lavish society wedding in 1997, was found guilty of participating in a plot to unlawfully derive financial benefit from public funds that were obtained and channeled through supposedly non-profit entities.

The court's three judges unanimously decided on a prison sentence of six years and three months for the former handball star, who was convicted on charges of obstruction of justice, embezzlement, fraud, influence peddling and two counts of tax evasion.

In addition, Urdangarin was fined 512,000 euros.

Spain's anti-corruption prosecutor had asked for a sentence of 26 years and six months' imprisonment for Urdangarin.

Meanwhile, Urdangarin's former business associate, Diego Torres, was sentenced to eight years and six months in prison and fined 1,723,843 euros.

Torres was found guilty of, among other crimes, defrauding the treasury by illegally transferring hidden income through an international web of shell companies based in the United Kingdom and Belize.

His wife, Ana Maria Tejeiro, was _ like Cristina _ spared jail but also ordered to pay a fine of 344,934 euros as a beneficiary of her husband's illicit enrichment.

On the other hand, the former regional president of the Balearic Islands, Jaume Matas, was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for his role in the fraud scheme.

The Balearic government, under the control of the conservative Popular Party, had funneled public funds into Urdangarin and Torres' "non-profit" _ the so-called Nóos Institute _ to the tune of 2.3 million euros.

Urdangarin used his prominent position as the husband of the Duchess of Palma and a member of the Royal Family to secure public contracts from his acquaintances in various public bodies.

Nóos received more than three million euros from the regional government of Valencia and an annual contract worth 120,000 euros from Madrid's failed bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games.

Cristina and Urdangarin bankrolled a lavish lifestyle, including owning a modern, almost palatial house in an upscale suburb of Barcelona.

King Felipe and his wife, Queen Letizia, were inaugurating an exhibit at Madrid's Thyssen museum when the verdict became known.

A spokesman for the Royal Office reacted to the news by re-affirming its "absolute respect for the independence of the judiciary power."

King Felipe had stripped Urdangarin and Cristina of their royal title of duchess of Palma de Mallorca, according to a royal decree published June 12, 2015.

The princess was the first member of the royal family to stand trial since Spain was restored to democracy in 1978.

Cristina's attorney, Miquel Roca, said the verdict was satisfactory as she was exonerated from the two counts of tax evasion she had been charged with, but said she was "dismayed" by Urdangarin's prison sentence because she "continues to believe in his innocence."