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Spanish King’s brother-in-law sentenced in corruption trial

Tuesday, 12 June, 2018 - 14:49

Inaki Urdangarin, the brother-in-law of Spain’s King Felipe VI, lost his appeal case and was sentenced on Tuesday, June 12, by the Spanish Supreme Court to five years and ten months in prison in a corruption case.

This sentence is slightly lower than that pronounced in the first instance (six years and three months) but it could could lead to the incarceration in the days to come of this former Olympic handball medalist, who still has a possible appeal before the Constitutional Tribunal.

While the defence of the husband of Infanta Cristina, younger sister of the king, had pleaded for acquittal, the public prosecutor had asked the court to increase the sentence to ten years imprisonment.

While his conviction for embezzlement of public funds, tax evasion and influence peddling was confirmed by the court on Tuesday, he was acquitted of the offence of forgery, which explains the reduction of the sentence.

Mr Urdangarin was sentenced in February 2017 by the court of Palma de Mallorca to six years and three months in prison for having diverted grants awarded to a non-profit foundation he chaired called Noos between 2004 and 2006.

His partner Diego Torres saw his sentence reduced from eight years and six months to five years and eight months.

The Infanta Cristina, who had originally been fined 265,000 euros as a beneficiary of the gains obtained by her husband, had the fine reduced on appeal to 136,950 euros.

The investigation into these cases began in the early 2010s, as Spain sank into the economic crisis. This, combined with other scandals – including a trip by King Juan Carlos to Botswana for an elephant hunt in 2012 – had seriously tarnished the image of the monarchy.

Together, the scandals precipitated the abdication of the king in favour of his son Felipe in June 2014. Since then, the new king has dismissed his sister and her husband from official ceremonies and rescinded Mr Urdangarin’s title of Duke.

 

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