José María del Nido, as he announced his resignation on Monday.
José María del Nido and the former mayor of Marbella Julián Muñoz were sentenced to seven and half years in prison by Malaga’s provincial court two years ago in the ‘Minutas’ case. The pair were found guilty of embezzlement, fraud and corrupt practice for looting millions of euros from Marbella town hall through overinflated legal fees.
Following their appeal, last week the Supreme Court upheld the sentences, except for one count of fraud, reducing the prison term from seven and a half to seven years.
On Monday Del Nido publicly resigned as chairman of Sevilla Fútbol Club, a position he has held for more than ten years.
He told the press, however, that he would continue to defend his name and find the “legal mechanisms” to try to avoid going to jail. “I wouldn’t be the first person to be pardoned by the Government in recent centuries,” he said in the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán stadium.
He said that he would accept his responsibilities and face the “consequences”, and announced that his first intention is to pay back the sum that the sentence indicates that he incorrectly charged Marbella town hall, around 2,800,000 euros.
He repeated his innocence but said that in the event of his having to go to prison, if all his appeals fail, he would do so “with dignity”.
Del Nido took over from José Luis Sierra as lawyer to Marbella town hall in May 2000 when Julián Muñoz was acting mayor.
The case came to light when the municipal inspector pointed out that sums for unspecified legal services were regularly being released from the town hall coffers with the authorisation of Muñoz. After this the inspector was suspended from his position without salary.
Julián Muñoz is currently in prison serving a sentence received in a previous corruption case.
Others convicted in the Minutas trial include Del Nido’s wife, Ángeles Carrasco, former planning adviser Juan AntonioRoca and accountant Victor Cohen.