In a scandal involving the embezzlement of a total of 855 million euros, the former head of government of the Spanish region has to Andalusia José Antonio Griñán went to prison after all. Seven other convicts must also serve the prison sentences imposed three years ago, as the Seville district court ruled on Tuesday. It thus granted an application by the public prosecutor responsible for corruption. The start of detention had been delayed due to various appeals and requests for clemency by the convicts.
The 76-year-old Griñán, who was head of government in Spain’s largest region between 2009 and 2013, was sentenced to a good six years in prison by the district court in Seville in November 2019 for breach of official duties and embezzlement. Another six men and one woman, including former ministers and senior politicians, were sentenced to prison terms of up to seven years and 11 months.
Suspension was no longer possible
Because of the seriousness of the allegations and the length of the prison sentences, the court in Seville decided that the execution of the sentences could no longer be suspended, a judicial spokesman for the German Press Agency confirmed corresponding media reports. In all cases, the start of detention must take place within the next ten days, it said.
In Andalusia, members of the socialist government, trade unionists and entrepreneurs are said to have created a system that allowed subsidies and unemployment benefits to be awarded for years without the required controls. The convicts applied to the left-wing central government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez for pardons, which are still being discussed.