A DOCTOR has told the Seville High Court that former Andalusian president José Antonio Griñán should not go to jail due to the prostate cancer that he is suffering. 

The disgraced Socialist Party (PSOE) politician was convicted by Spain’s Supreme Court to six years in prison for his role in the so-called ‘ERE’ corruption scandal, which saw almost €1 billion disappear from the public coffers between the years of 2001 and 2009. 

Griñán was sentenced along with seven former PSOE colleagues for their role in a scheme that distributed funds to friends and relatives rather than their intended destination, which was to help insolvent companies let go of staff – a scheme known in Spanish as an ERE. 

In mid-November Griñán was given 10 days to enter prison, but by late December he had still not handed himself over. 

On December 23, a judge ordered him to take a medical after his defence lawyer claimed his client was suffering from prostate cancer and that his treatment ‘could not be carried out in a penitentiary centre’. 

The report that the forensic physician has just handed over to the Seville court argues that secondary effects of hormonal treatment and radiotherapy that Griñán needs are ‘incompatible’ with ‘the dynamics of a jail’. 

The former politician is yet to start treatment, however. 

Unlikely to go to jail

According to press reports, it is now likely that the court will allow Griñán to be treated for his cancer from his home and will not have to go into jail. 

The corruption prosecutor and private prosecution in the case will now have a chance to respond to the doctor’s report, and a final decision will likely be made by the court next week.

Carmen Martínez Aguayo, the former economy chief in the Andalusian regional government, was also sentenced to six years in prison for misuse of public funds. She entered jail on December 29, becoming the first of the convicted politicians in the case to do so. 

Despite the deadline for the convicted politicians to enter jail expiring on December 31, several of their lawyers interpreted the final date as slightly later on the basis that January 1 was a holiday. 

By January 2, convicted former regional ministers Antonio Fernández, José Antonio Viera and Francisco Vallejo had handed themselves in. 

As well as Griñán, former employment chief Agustín Barberá is yet to enter prison. He is also claiming that he has a serious illness that prevents him from doing so.

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