Iñaki Urdangarin will learn on Thursday if he has to go to prison immediately.

21-02-2017Reuters

The Balearic attorney's office is to lodge an appeal on Friday which will seek to recover the 2.3 million euros of government money that was paid to the Instituto Nóos to organise sports forums in 2005 and 2006.

This follows anti-corruption prosecutor Pedro Horrach having said that he believes there are grounds for taking the Nóos trial judgement to the Supreme Court. Having had a chance to go through the text of the judgement in depth, Horrach considers there to be discrepancies in respect of the payment of public funds by the Balearic government to Nóos and so therefore to Iñaki Urdangarin and Diego Torres.

Horrach says that during the trial the prosecution pointed to amounts paid for Nóos services not having necessarily been disproportionate but to the fact that these services were not performed.

The ruling establishes that contracts for staging forums worth 2.3 million euros were the result of a crime committed by ex-Balearic president Jaume Matas. It was a fraud in terms of how the award was made. However, it goes on to say that there was not embezzlement of public funds in that there was "public utility" and that funds were used "effectively". Furthermore, invoices raised corresponded to work undertaken. This is something that the prosecution and the current Balearic government, via the attorney's office, totally reject.

The government is therefore seeking to recover as much of these funds as possible. The judgement has allocated damages of 619,000 euros. It is for this reason that the Supreme Court is to become involved.

Tomorrow, Urdangarin and Torres are obliged to attend court and hear arguments about what "precautionary measures" should be applied to them, e.g. that both should enter prison immediately. The sentence of six years and three months handed down to Urdangarin is for tax offences, fraud, trafficking of influence, document falsification, one count of embezzlement, and abuse of position.

Horrach says that no final decision has been made as to concrete measures that will be requested. However, the general criteria are such that sentences of more than five years typically require those found guilty to go straight to jail. Bail is, though, not being ruled out. Urdangarin's lawyer says that he doesn't think that his client will be ordered into prison.

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