A good deal of media interest outside the prison yesterday. | Efe


Iñaki Urdangarin, the brother-in-law of King Felipe, turned himself in to authorities on Monday to serve nearly six years in jail for crimes including tax fraud and embezzlement.

Urdangarin signed himself into the Brieva prison in Avila at 8.13am. He had been given a five-day deadline last week to appear at a penal institution of his choosing for the five-year and ten-month sentence.

The prison has 162 cells. It is a mostly women's prison but a has a small separate area for men. It was chosen in part for its proximity to Madrid to ease visits by his wife, Princess Cristina. She lives in Geneva with their four children and is expected to continue living there. The prison's men's wing also provides a means for guaranteeing his personal security. The same wing was where the ex-director general of the Guardia Civil, Luis Roldan, spent ten years. Urdangarin will have to contend with the solitude of the wing. He is unlikely to engage in communal activities and will communicate only with prison staff.

The regime of his imprisonment is under consideration, as is normal. The prison authorities have up to four months to determine this. The likelihood is that he will serve a quarter of his sentence before being given permissions and moving to "second grade", which allows passes for 36 days per year. He could be given third grade at this stage, by which there are passes for 48 days and the chance, if he is working, of having to only spend nights at the prison on weekdays. Typically, however, third grade applies after half the sentence has been fulfilled. He could be granted parole after two-thirds of the sentence.