The Spanish judiciary should be congratulated over the handling of the court case involving the King's brother-in-law, Iñaki Urdangarin, and his business partner. The fact that even the King's sister, Cristina, also went on trial but was later cleared of any wrongdoing, shows that no one in this country is above the law.

Last week a Palma court ruled that Urdangarin, the former Duke of Palma, should be sentenced to six years in prison for defrauding public funds. His former business partner, Diego Torres, received an eight-year term and his wife was cleared. A judge will decide in Palma today whether Urdangarin should be sent to jail or if he can keep his freedom until his appeal is heard. The judge could also withdraw his passport.

There is little danger that Urdangarin can flee the Spanish judiciary; it must be remembered that as the King's brother-in-law he has round-the clock police protection. Also, he has always presented himself before the judiciary when required. So there is a case for him keeping his freedom until the appeal.

But let us remember that he has been sentenced to six years in prison. This is by no means a short term in anyone's book. The view on the street in Palma is that he should go to prison and to some extent I agree. In some cases it is common that people can keep their freedom until their appeal is heard, especially in so-called white-collar crimes. But this is no normal case. The people of Spain are watching.