Former Junta de Andalucía president handed six years jail term for embezzlement in Spain’s long-running corruption case

José Antonio Griñán faces six years in jail for embezzlement

Former Andalucían socialist president José Antonio Griñán has been sentenced to six years and two days in jail for embezzlement for his part in the ERE case.

He was also disqualified from public office for 15 years for perverting the course of justice in one of the biggest corruption cases in the country’s modern history.

Manuel Chaves, also a former head of Andalucía’s regional government, was found guilty of maladministration and disqualified from public office for nine years.

Nineteen other former top officials from the ruling Socialists in Andalucía’s government were convicted by a Seville court of distributing, without due diligence, hundreds of millions of euros meant to help the unemployed and companies in difficulty in Andalucía.

ERE is the Spanish acronym for a mass-layoff plan, expediente de regulación de empleo. Prosecutors estimated that for ten years members of the Andalusian administration diverted 680 million euros in public funds.

The funds were passed on to people and businesses, often with close ties to the Socialist party, some of whom were not affected by lay-offs, which was the purpose of the funds.

The court said there was an “absolute lack of control” in the management of the funds.

Summarising the sentence, Judge Juan Antonio Calle Peña said that Griñán, who was president of the Junta de Andalucia between 2009 and 2013, was “fully aware of the illegality of the acts in which he participated.”

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Shirin Aguiar