Spanish singer sentenced to two years for corruption

Malaga (Spain), April 17 (IANS/EFE) Popular Spanish singer Isabel Pantoja was sentenced Tuesday to two years in prison for money laundering, but as a first-time offender she may be able to avoid jail time.

In the same case, Pantoja’s former boyfriend, former Marbella Mayor Julian Munoz, was sentenced to seven years, while the latter’s ex-wife, Maite Zaldivar, received a sentence of three years and three months.

The court also imposed millions in fines.

Munoz was ordered to pay close to 4 million euros ($5.2 million), Zaldivar, 2.4 million euros ($3.1 million) and Pantoja, 1.1 million euros ($1.4 million).

Isabel Pantoja, 56, was already a popular singer in 1983 when she became a fixture in the celebrity press after marrying bullfighter Francisco “Paquirri” Rivera.

Her popularity surged after Paquirri was gored to death in 1984, with Spaniards rallying around the woman who became known as the “Widow of Spain”.

A total of seven people have been sentenced in what is known as the Malaya case.

Prosecutors argue that both Pantoja and Zaldivar “were perfectly aware of the illicit origin of the funds and assets” they received from Munoz.

During the trial, Pantoja testified before the court that her ex-boyfriend never gave her any money and that it was she who supported him.

Under Spanish law, a convict with no previous criminal record who is sentenced to a maximum of two years is eligible for a suspended sentence.

Pantoja was arrested in May 2007 at her home in Marbella, a Mediterranean jewel rocked in recent years by corruption scandals.

–IANS/EFE

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