King of Spain’s brother-in-law given 5 days to enter jail

Socialist party says possibility to reprieve him is ‘unrealistic’

Iñaki Urdangarin leaves the court in Palma on June 13 (photo courtesy of Reuters)
Iñaki Urdangarin leaves the court in Palma on June 13 (photo courtesy of Reuters) / ACN

ACN | Palma de Mallorca

June 13, 2018 03:06 PM

The King of Spain’s brother-in-law will have to enter jail by next Monday. Iñaki Urdangarin was sentenced to 5 years and 10 months in prison on Tuesday for a corruption case, and one day later, the judge gave him five days to abide by the judicial decision. Urdangarin appeared in the Palma de Mallorca court on Wednesday which had issued a first sentence last year. The final Supreme Court sentence was made public on Tuesday. The King’s brother-in-law will be the first relative of the post-Franco Spanish monarchy to enter prison.

There are only two ways for him to avoid –or at least delay– his sentence. One of them is asking for a reprieve from the Spanish government, which Spain’s Socialist ruling party has already branded as “unreal.” The other one would be an appeal to the Spanish Constitutional Court including the delay of the carrying out of sentence. This possibility, though, is unlikely, as the court does not usually postpone imprisonments for sentences higher than 5 years, while deliberating on appeals.

Urdangarin, who lives in Geneva with his wife, King Felipe’s sister Cristina, and his children, will be allowed to go back to Switzerland until Monday. The sentence released by the Supreme Court on Tuesday was a verdict review of an earlier sentence by a Balearic island court in Palma de Mallorca. The Supreme Court judges found him guilty of misuse public funds, breach of official duty, fraud against the administration, two fiscal crimes, and influence peddling.

Instituto Nóos

For some years in the 2000s he was in charge of Instituto Nóos, a firm which mainly organized sporting events, but that also produced reports, among others thing, for public administrations.

Urdangarin was accused of obtaining public contracts for Instituto Nóos in the Valencia and the Balearic Islands area by taking advantage of his status as the king’s relative. He was also charged over suspicion of embezzling funds from these contracts, to avoid paying taxes in Spain through a network of offshore companies.