8 Jul, 2024 @ 18:30
1 min read

Former Junta president who oversaw Andalucia’s massive €680 million ERE corruption scandal set to have his embezzlement conviction overturned

ONE of Andalucia’s most infamous public servants is set to have his embezzlement conviction overturned.

Former Junta president and ex-PSOE leader Jose Antonio Griñan, who oversaw the notorious ERE corruption scheme between 2000 and 2009, was convicted in a Sevilla court in 2019.

He was sentenced to six years in prison for embezzling €680 million of public money intended for struggling businesses.

The huge sum of cash was instead funnelled into a slush fund that became known as the ‘reptile fund’.

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

grinan set to lose control of the andalucia junta
Jose Antonio Griñan while he was still Junta president in 2012

This money was fraudulently redistributed to friends and associates, where it was spent on property and other investments, as well as gin and tonics, cigars, and notoriously a €25,000-a-month cocaine habit.

Now the Spanish Constitutional Court draft ruling, which is expected to be approved next week, will eliminate Griñan’s six-year sentence, who has not served time due to health issues.

The same court will also review the conviction of another former Andalucian president who played a part in the scandal, Manuel Chaves, potentially reducing his nine-year disqualification from public office. 

This decision comes after the release of several former high-ranking Junta officials who were also convicted in the ERE case.

Twelve of the 15 convicted appealed to the Constitutional Court, which either overturned or significantly reduced their sentences.

READ MORE: Verdict for architects of infamous ERE scandal which saw almost €1 BILLION stolen from Andalucia taxpayers due TOMORROW after almost decade-long legal battle

On this occasion, the same court agreed with Griñan’s appeal, which centred on the technical interpretation of the prevarication and embezzlement offences.

The rulings, which passed with seven votes in favour and four against, were opposed by the four conservative judges, who accused the court of granting ‘immunity’ to former PSOE officials.

Ana Mestre of Andalucia’s PP condemned the forthcoming decision as ‘the PSOE trying to whitewash what the Spanish legal system convicted.

“We Andalucians knew what those funds were used for,” she said, “and it was certainly not for the generat interest of the progress of our land.

“If they governed today, the PSOE would just do it all again.”

Walter Finch

Walter - or Walt to most people - is a former and sometimes still photographer and filmmaker who likes to dig under the surface.
A NCTJ-trained journalist, he came to the Costa del Sol - Gibraltar hotspot from the Daily Mail in 2022 to report on organised crime, corruption, financial fraud and a little bit of whatever is going on.
Got a story? walter@theolivepress.es

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