Former Secretary of State for Finance with PP Estanislao Rodríguez-Ponga and former CC OO leader Antonio del Rey de Viñas have become the first to be convicted of the cards black of Caja Madrid who enter prison, as they have confirmed to EL PAÍS prison sources. The high court had given until 15 October the 15 people sentenced to more than two years in prison – a fine that implies being imprisoned – so that they could go to the penitentiary center they chose to start serving their sentences.
Rodríguez-Ponga did it this Wednesday at the Soto del Real prison. Rey de Viñas went to the Center of Social Insertion (CIS) Victoria Kent, in the south of Madrid, but was later transferred to the Navalcarnero prison. The former Secretary of State of the governments of José María Aznar was sentenced to 3 years and two months after squandering more than 255,000 euros with the card that Caja Madrid placed at his disposal. In the case of Del Rey, the penalty was 2 years and six months after spending 191,500.
The election of a CIS by the ex-unionist of CC OO surprised the Ministry of the Interior, since this type of center is intended only for prisoners in the third degree of the penitentiary or semi-freedom system. As newly admitted, neither Del Rey nor Rodríguez-Ponga has been classified in any penitentiary. It will be the technicians of the Treatment Board of each one of the prisons who will evaluate the circumstances of each one of them during the next weeks and decide, finally, what regime happens to govern the day to day between bars of both.
The penitentiary sources consulted point out that, almost with all the security, it will be the second penitentiary degree, in which most of the prisoners are in Spanish prisons. This situation will allow them to enjoy prison permits as exit permits once they have served one quarter of the sentence (seven and a half months in the case of the unionist and nine and a half months in the case of Rodríguez Ponga) and provided that other requirements are met , like good behavior. Penitentiary sources add that, for the granting of penitentiary benefits, it can be taken into account if they return the money spent collecting the sentence. Del Rey and Rodríguez-Ponga did not do so before the National Court hearing, which influenced the sentence received.
Prison sources point out that the same criteria will be applied to the other 13 convicts, including the former vice-president of the Government Rodrigo Rato. Interior intends to classify all in the second degree of the penitentiary. Sources from this department assure that none of them has contacted Penitentiary Institutions to inform which center they plan to attend. "They are not obligated to do so," they say.
In the case of Rato, they add that it will be taken into account that he will sit on the bench of the defendants of the Audiencia Nacional as of November in the Bankia case. Therefore, during the six months planned for the duration of the hearing, will be held in one of the seven prisons in Madrid. If he goes to an outside one, he will be transferred. With a sentence of 4 years and six months, the former vice-president of the Government will not be able to enjoy his first permit until he reaches 13 months in prison.