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News Digest: Spanish princess is facing trial for two counts of tax fraud

By Staff Reporters

A Spanish court has cleared the way for Princess Cristina, the sister of King Felipe VI, to be tried on tax fraud charges in a landmark investigation affecting the royal family.

The Palma de Mallorca court paved the way for Cristina's indictment after rejecting appeals by the prosecution and the defence against her being listed as a suspect in a corruption and embezzlement investigation centring on her husband, Inaki Urdangarin.

Investigative judge Jose Castro must now decide whether to formally indict the princess. He said Cristina (above) is suspected of two counts of co-operation in tax fraud.

Cristina became the first Spanish royal to appear in court since 1975.

SEALS row over who killed Osama

Members of the US Navy SEAL commando team that killed Osama bin Laden at his Pakistan hideout in May, 2011 are making conflicting claims as to who actually shot the al-Qaida leader.

The Washington Post published a report this week quoting Rob O'Neill, a former SEAL, as claiming to have fired the fatal shot that hit bin Laden in the forehead after O'Neill stormed into a room in bin Laden's house in Abbottabad.

It followed a report this week in the military blog Sofrep, which was the first to publicly name Mr O'Neill as the shooter, and a separate story in which Mr O'Neill's father, Rob, confirmed his son's identity as "the shooter".

Matt Bissonnette, another member of the SEAL team, published his account of the raid, No Easy Day in 2012 under the pseudonym Mark Owen.

The book did not identify the person who shot bin Laden.

But last night Mr Bissonnette appeared to take issue with Mr O'Neill's version of events in an interview with NBC News.

"Two different people telling two different stories for two different reasons," Mr Bissonnette said. "Whatever he says, he says. I don't want to touch that."

Charge dropped against AC/DC man

Prosecutors in New Zealand have dropped a murder-for-hire charge against AC/DC drummer Phil Rudd, saying there was not enough evidence to proceed.

But the 60-year-old member of the Australian band still faces a charge of threatening to kill, which comes with a maximum prison term of seven years. He also faces charges of possessing methamphetamine and marijuana.

Tauranga Crown Solicitor Greg Hollister-Jones said his office became responsible for prosecuting Rudd after he had been charged by police and had appeared in court.

The file was obtained and reviewed, Mr Hollister-Jones said yesterday.

He added that he "made the decision that there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the charge of attempting to procure murder".

Rudd's lawyer Paul Mabey said the decision to charge him was made by police without consulting prosecutors.

"The charge alleging an attempt to procure murder should never have been laid," Mr Mabey said.

Gardener 'collapsed and died after handling plant'

An experienced gardener who collapsed and died after tending to a millionaire's estate may have been the victim of the deadly wolfsbane plant, a coroner has heard. It was only after the gardener's distraught father Richard took up investigating his son Nathan's mysterious death that the connection with the deadly plant came to light. Histopathologist Asmat Mustajab said it was "more likely than not" Mr Greenaway died handling the deadly purple flower, according to North Hampshire coroner Andrew Bradley.

1,500 US troops to help in fight against IS militants

President Barack Obama has authorised the US military to deploy up to 1,500 more troops to Iraq as part of the mission to combat the Islamic State group.

Mr Obama is also asking Congress for more than $5 billion (£3.1bn) to help fund the fight against the jihadists.

The White House said the troops will train, advise and assist Iraqi military and Kurdish forces fighting IS. Mr Obama has also authorised the additional personnel to operate at Iraqi military facilities outside Baghdad and Erbil.

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