The king’s brother-in-law was sentenced to five years in prison and ten months in jail for embezzling millions of euros in a case that frightened the royalties, the Supreme Court said..
Former Olympic handballman Inaki Urdangarin, at the age of 50, married sister Felipe VI., Princess Cristina, but was expelled from the royal family after a scandal underwater broke out in 2010.
The scandal contributed to the decision of Felipe’s father, Juan Carlos I, to move away in 2014.
Urdangarin was convicted last year of acquiring millions of euros (dollars) from 2004 to 2006 from a non-profit foundation he led on Mallorca.
He will now go to jail unless he makes a successful final appeal to the Constitutional Court – a possibility considered unlikely.
On Tuesday, he lost his entire appeal, though the court overruled some of the lower charges. This gave him a slightly shorter punishment than six years and three months he received last year.
Corruption scandal aroused outrage during the Spanish financial crisis, when Urdangarin became a symbol of corruption perceived by the elite.
The scandal raged the end of the reign of Juan Carlos.
He moved away from the throne in June 2014 after 39 years, hoping that his son Felipe VI could refresh the image of the monarchy.
Since the end of 2011, Urdangarin and Cristina have been excluded from all official public appearances of the royal family.
Felipe VI got rid of several titles of the Duchess and Duchess of Palma. They now live in Switzerland with their four children.
Urdangarin claimed he had never made any decision without the knowledge of the royal family.
Cristina herself was also accused of accusing her husband of avoiding taxes, but the 52-year-old princess was liberated.
He was fined € 265,000 for separate charges. The Supreme Court on Tuesday also reduced the fine to 136,950 ($ 161,400) euros on appeal.
– embezzlement, money laundering –
Cristina was the first member of the Spanish royal family who faced prosecution since the re-establishment of the monarchy in 1975.
Urdangarin was accused of more serious crimes of embezzlement, dealing with influences, counterfeiting and money laundering.
The couple was tried in 2016 along with 15 others, including former Minister of State Jaum Matas.
After marrying Urdangarin in 1997, Cristina was always in the celebrity spotlight and was praised for having a job.
Eventually, however, the excited eyebrows flourished in the lively lifestyle of the couple.
In 2004, a house of 1,200 square meters was purchased in Barcelona for six million euros.
The royal family did not comment on Urdangarin’s conviction.
In response to Tuesday’s ruling, the palace source said only that it had “the greatest respect for the independence of the judiciary.”
It is said that there is no precedent of the Spanish Constitutional Court confirming the appeal against convictions lasting more than five years.
“We can expect that (Urdangarin) will go to jail,” said Ana Romero, author of the book about the royal family under Felipe’s father Juan Carlos I.
If Urdangarin did not go to jail, she added: “The reaction will be very negative for the crown … People would say he will not be imprisoned because he is the king’s brother-in-law.”
Former Duke of Palma Inaki Urdangarin was convicted of embezzlement of public funds
Princess Cristina and Inaki Urdangarin were deprived of the titles of the Duchess and Duchess of Palma
Spanish Princess Cristina was exempt from charges to help her husband avoid taxes