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Urdangarín sentenced to five years and 10 months in prison
KING Felipe's brother-in-law Iñaki Urdangarín has been sentenced to five years and 10 months in jail after his custodial term was reduced on appeal by five months.
He will be able to choose which prison he goes to if he hands himself in rather than waiting to be arrested.
The former Duke of Palma, who lost his title when found guilty of a multi-million public fund embezzlement racket in which he took advantage of his Royal connections to gain publicity for his cause, had attempted unsuccessfully to strike a bargain in which he was sentenced to no more than two years, given that, for a first offence, anything less than this does not have to be served.
Urdangarín (pictured), who is married to HRH Felipe VI's youngest sister, the Infanta (non-Crown Princess) Cristina, set up what purported to be a non-profit association, the Nóos Institute, aimed at promoting and organising sporting and cultural events and attracting public funds to pay for them.
Urdangarín and his Nóos partner Diego Torres inflated the estimates and invoices involved and pocketed the difference.
The dormant company, Aizoon, which has no known business activity, owned 50% each by Urdangarín and the Infanta was used to launder the cash, by billing Nóos for Urdangarín's 'management consultancy services'.
The Infanta herself is accused of offsetting personal costs and purchases against Aizoon to lower the company's tax bill and reduce her own.
On appeal, the court has halved the fine she has been ordered to pay for her tax liabilities.
Diego Torres has been sentenced to five years and eight months in jail and a fine of just over €775,000.
Former Balearic regional president Jaume Matas, who was in cahoots with the Nóos racket, has been sentenced to three years and eight months, and is not allowed to practise politics for another seven years.
As the verdict comes from the Supreme Court, the highest contentious audience in the land, it technically has no opening for appeal, unless the three involved are able to create a case for the Constitutional Court.
This court is concerned only with interpreting the country's Magna Carta and ensuring appellants' rights enshrined therein have not been breached.
The three can also apply for an official pardon, but it looks unlikely this will be granted due to the public backlash that would ensue.
Otherwise, they could only turn to the European courts.
Overall, it would appear very unlikely that any of these three routes would succeed, but it is still possible the accused parties may take advantage of them to stall for time.
This was considered to be the motive behind their appeal to the Supreme Court against the original sentence dictated by the provincial court in Palma de Mallorca.
However, the Supreme Court has the power to decide to send all three straight to jail, meaning they would have to process their appeals from their cells.
The Nóos corruption case came to light when the Infanta Cristina's father, HRH Juan Carlos I, was still King, and reportedly led to their previously excellent family relationship breaking down as Cristina was described as 'acting the victim' and asking 'why me', according to insider interviews at the time.
Also, the case was one of the triggers in a growing anti-Royal sentiment across the country, which eventually led to King Juan Carlos I abdicating in favour of his son, the then Crown Prince Felipe of Asturias.
One of Felipe VI's first actions was to strip his sister and brother-in-law of their noble titles of the Duke and Duchess of Palma.
Shortly prior to this, the Royal household had decided that anyone representing them in public engagements would be reduced to the figures of King Juan Carlos and his wife, Queen Sofía, plus King Felipe and his wife, Queen Letizia and, eventually, the latters' daughters, Princess Leonor, 12 and the Infanta Sofía, 11.
The collateral of this meant Felipe VI's elder sister, the Infanta Elena, Duchess of Lugo would no longer be able to represent the Royals either, nor would her children when they grew up.
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