Spain's Supreme Court confirmed Tuesday a prison sentence against the Spanish king’s brother-in-law Iñaki Urdangarin for tax fraud, embezzlement and influence peddling in the Noos scandal.
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The Noos institute is a non-profit foundation, which served as a recipient of regional government contracts.
The Spanish justice system has determined that Urdangarin and his business partner, Diego Torres, secured government contracts due to Urdangarin influence as a member of Spain’s royal family, and diverted US$7.3 million for organizing sporting events to private accounts.
In the same ruling, Urdangarin was acquitted of the crime of forgery, reducing his original prison sentence from 6 years and 3 months to 5 years and 10 months.
According to the Spanish newspaper El Pais the king’s sister, Cristina de Borbon, sat on the board of Aizoon, a company allegedly used in the scheme to divert public funds.
In 2017, the king’s sister was acquitted of tax fraud complicity with her husband, but he was found guilty and ordered to pay a US$ 603,827 fine
“The decision does not necessarily mean that Urdangarin will immediately go to jail. The provincial court in Palma de Mallorca that oversaw the trial may now order him to report to the prison, or schedule a hearing in the coming days to decide whether or not to put him behind bars,” El Pais explains.
Urdangarin’s defense has presented an appeal before the Constitutional Court and could request a pardon from the central government.
However, the prosecution is expected to request preventive prison.
After the ruling, a spokesperson for the crown expressed their “total respect to judicial independence.”