Sean Connery's wife ordered to stand trial in Spain fraud case

Actor Sean Connery and his wife, Micheline Roquebrune.
Actor Sean Connery and his wife, Micheline Roquebrune.FACEBOOK

MADRID (AFP) - Sean Connery's wife has been ordered to stand trial in Spain for her alleged part in a multi-million-euro fraud that could see her jailed for more than two years, judicial authorities said.

Micheline Roquebrune, wife of the 85-year-old film star best known for his portrayal of James Bond, could also be fined €23 million (S$34 million) if found guilty of involvement in an alleged operation that defrauded the state, the Supreme Court of the southern region of Andalucia said.

The case is part of the so-called "Goldfinger" investigation into "an urban development operation linked to a plot of land in which the villa of the Connery's was located," the court added on Thursday.

Both Connery and his second wife Roquebrune, who were married in 1975, were cited in 2010 in the "Goldfinger" investigation - named after the 1964 James Bond film - which involves the sale of their luxury seaside villa near Marbella in southern Spain.

Connery sold the villa, named Malibu, in 1999 reportedly for around nine million dollars.

The villa was subsequently knocked down, and a four-storey luxury apartment complex with 72 flats was built on the land where it once stood in 2004-2005, despite planning rules which said only five homes could be constructed on it.

The court said a letter would now be sent to the Bahamas, where Connery and his wife live, asking judicial authorities there to notify her of its decision.