|Tuesday 3 March, 2015 Edition #4596|
PRINCESS GIVEN A MONTH TO PRESENT HER WRITTEN DEFENSE TO PALMA COURT
By Humphrey Carter
Palma.—The Palma judge investigating the Noos Corruption case, Jose Castro, yesterday gave Princess Cristina, her husband the Duke of Palma, Iñaki Urdangarin and the other 15 suspects in the case, have been given until 1 April to present their written defense to the Palma court where they will stand trial later this year.
The Spanish king’s sister, is facing a tax fraud trial over alleged links to her husband’s business dealings.
It is the first time for modern Spain to put a royal in the dock to face trial.
Her husband is accused of embezzling millions in public funds with a former business partner.
The couple deny wrongdoing. But, prosecutors in Palma, say Urdangarin’s sports foundation misused public money, much of it from the regional governments here in the Balearics and Valencia.
It is alleged that €5.6m (£4.6m) of public money went missing from the Noos Institute, a charitable sports foundation, when Urdangarin was in charge of it.
Princess Cristina, 49, is under suspicion over €2.6m of that money.
She is the sister of King Felipe VI, and youngest daughter of the former king, Juan Carlos.
The allegations relate to business affairs in 2007-2008.
Walking while drunk and jogging too fast could become illegal
Palma/Madrid.—Walking tipsy along the streets might be a thing of the past as Spain’s Directorate General of Traffic plans to introduce breathalyzser tests for pedestrians.
As the crackdown on what is deemed to be dangerous walking is explored, Spain might also introduce an off-road speed limit for joggers.
Buried among a group of other road safety suggestions; these proposals are aimed at giving Spanish pedestrians responsibilities similar to those held by drivers.
The plans are not popular and have sparked sparked disputes.
The government’s top advisory council called the plans a violation of Spaniards’ rights.
72% increase in speeding drivers being trapped
By Humphrey Carter
Last year, the Guardia Civil registered a slight increase in people driving under the effects of alcohol and drugs.
Palma.—In 2014, the number of drivers trapped for speeding was 72 percent higher than in 2013 and 19,904 more fines were handed down to drivers for a variety of traffic offenses.
In total, 94,669 fines were given out.
However, on the other hand, the Guardia Civil recorded a decrease in the number of traffic accidents in the Balearics.
The sharpest increase in fines was for speeding.
Of the total drivers fined, 45,390 were caught for speeding, a record number and this year, the Guardia Civil intends to step up its crackdown on speeding drivers.
But, drivers roads will soon know the location of all speed cameras and speed traps and receive early warnings of their presence, the head of Spain’s DGT national highway agency announced recently. The announcement follows news that the decline in road deaths appears to have bottomed out after a decade of sharp drops: 1,131 people died in traffic accidents last year compared with 1,134 in 2013.
Also, January 2015 figures show a dramatic 44-percent rise in road fatalities from the same period last year, a fact that has prompted drivers’ associations to demand new action.