CORRUPTION

Once powerful Balearics chief sent to jail on corruption convictions

Prosecutors say former leader of Unió Mallorquina María Antònia Munar is a flight risk

Palma de Mallorca - 24 Jul 2013 - 16:48
Former Unió Mallorquina leader María Antònia Munar is taken to jail Wednesday after she was considered a flight risk.
Former Unió Mallorquina leader María Antònia Munar is taken to jail Wednesday after she was considered a flight risk. MONTSERRAT T DIEZ (EFE)

María Antònia Munar, a central figure in politics in the Balearic Islands for three decades, was sent to prison on Wednesday after prosecutors argued that she was a flight risk and could have money stashed away overseas.

The leader of the now-defunct Unió Mallorquina (UM) grouping was convicted in two corruption cases and sentenced to a total of eleven-and-a-half years. She asked to remain free while she waits out her appeals before the Supreme Court.

But on Wednesday, the Balearic High Court rejected her arguments that she would not flee because she was undergoing treatment for cancer and sided with anti-corruption prosecutors, who told the panel of judges she was a flight risk.

The judges had asked for a medical evaluation to determine the state of her health.

Shortly after 3pm, she was led away looking serene without handcuffs nor her sunglasses.

A former president of the Balearic regional parliament, Munar was one of the most powerful politicians on the island. Last July she was convicted for falsifying documents to obtain some 240,000 euros through a scheme in which a television and radio production company obtained contracts from the Balearic government. She was given a five-and-a-half-year term.

Munar was back in court again on Tuesday to be handed down a six-year sentence on charges related to the sale of public land worth 60 million euros at half price, and another land venture that benefited her nephew – a case that has not yet gone to trial.

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