A FORMER Andalucian leader has been given ten days to check himself into prison.

Jose Griñán must hand himself over after his bid to dodge jail for running one of the largest corruption schemes in Spanish history was denied.

The 76-year-old was handed a six-year stretch for his role in overseeing the disgraceful ERE scandal in which almost €1 billion disappeared from public coffers between 2001 and 2009.

Lawyers for the former Junta president have been battling to suspend the sentence since he was sentenced in 2019.

But yesterday a court in Sevilla denied his request for a pardon and ordered the socialist and seven of his former colleagues to prison.

They can choose the prison they want to serve in, although they may not end up getting it.

grinan set to lose control of the andalucia junta
Former President of Andalucia Jose Griñán ordered to turn himself in to authorities to go to jail

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EXPLAINER: How €680 million of Junta de Andalucia cash was embezzled in ERE scandal, Spain’s biggest EVER public money…

The eight convicts had previously enjoyed a Godfather-style existence distributing public funds to friends and family that were designed to help insolvent companies let go of staff.

The other seven convicts are Grinan’s fellow PSOE colleagues: former Deputy Minister of Employment Agustín Barberá; former Treasury Minister Carmen Martínez; the former director of IDEA, Miguel Ángel Serrano Aguilar; the former Deputy Minister of Innovation, Jesús María Rodríguez; the former Minister of Innovation Francisco Vallejo; José Antonio Viera, former Provincial Education Delegate; and Anthony Fernandez, former Employment Counselor.

Grinan’s last-ditch effort to avoid the prison yard involved his family writing to the Ministry of Justice in September requesting a partial pardon of his prison sentence for reasons of ‘humanity and equity’. 

The letter, signed by his wife and three children, cited his age, the amount of time that had elapsed between now and when the crimes were committed – between 13 and 22 years ago – and the fact that he bore no prior convictions, as justifications for granting him a partial pardon.

Grinan’s defence team then tried to argue that he should not be sent to jail until the request had been adjudicated on by the Ministry of Justice.

They claimed that he is ‘not a corrupt politician’, and that if it were the case that he went to prison and was later granted a pardon, it could cause him ‘irreparable damage’.

But the court rejected these claims, arguing that the defendants had been sentenced to ‘long-term prison for crimes committed by public servants who were entrusted with public funds,’ and that the ‘social alarm alarm caused by this kind of political corruption requires compliance with final judicial resolutions.’

However, the convicts can still delay the process a little longer, as they will have a two-day window, between Wednesday and Friday this week, to lodge any final last minute appeals against the decision.

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