Spain, waiting for Switzerland to send data

Spain, waiting for Switzerland to send data

Archive image of King Juan Carlos I. (Reuters)

© Reuters
Archive image of King Juan Carlos I. (Reuters)

With Juan Carlos I in exile, investigations in Spain and Switzerland are ongoing. Outside the country, the Emeritus does not enjoy the shield given by the Constitution until June 2014, but without any open court case against him, no short-term legal effects expected. Both the Swiss prosecutor and his Spanish counterparts investigate the “donation” of 100 million dollars that the monarch received in 2008 from Saudi Arabia, investigations that seek to clarify whether it was a commission for the award of the AVE to Mecca to Spanish companies three years later. The investigations are carried out in parallel and, according to legal sources, Spain is waiting for Switzerland to send the bulk of its inquiries, documentation that will be thoroughly reviewed to check whether the Emeritus could have committed any criminal act after his abdication.

To understand the judicial fronts that affect Juan Carlos I, one must go back to 2018 and, specifically, to one of the characters that has marked Spanish politics in recent years: the retired commissioner José Manuel Villarejo. Among the files that the investigators found in the records of the properties of the police officer and his associates, a series of audios of encounters that Villarejo himself had in 2015, who was a close friend of the Emeritus, stand out. Corinna Larsen, and the former president of Telefónica, Juan Villalonga. The key to these recordings is in how she talks about the monarch’s supposed opaque businesses, pointing out that she has accounts in the name of third parties in Switzerland: “They have put some things in the name of their cousin, who is Álvaro Orleans de Borbón, who also lives in Monaco. ”

© Provided by El Confidencial

Carlos HernanzThe Casa del Rey -which has not denied that Juan Carlos I is in Portugal- is awaiting the approval of the Emeritus to report where he is

The National Court opened a piece called Carol to investigate it, but, a month and a half later, in September 2018, it filed the same: did not give plausibility to Larsen’s claims because at the time his relationship with the Emeritus was recorded, it had been broken and, therefore, he considered that he could have released these accusations of spite. To this was added that the facts about which he spoke responded to a stage prior to the abdication of the monarch and, as established in article 56.3 of the Constitution, “the person of the King is inviolable and is not subject to liability.” Judge Diego de Egea then shelved the investigations, but the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office kept some proceedings open for a possible crime of international bribery in the construction of the AVE to Mecca.

Juan Carlos I remained in the background until a year later it was learned that Switzerland had entered the table. Specifically, the prosecutor Yves Bertossa, which has a history of arrests and convictions of powerful characters. Geneva investigates for “aggravated money laundering” two alleged figureheads of the Emeritus, Arturo Fasana and Dante Canonical, and to Larsen herself, for which she focuses on the supposed financial structure that they put in place in the Swiss country to launder money from corruption and, at the same time, hide the monarch’s hidden heritage. Given the content of the audio seized from Villarejo, Bertossa requested the same from the National Court and even traveled to Spain, thus starting a collaboration for which the Spanish Prosecutor’s Office now expects to receive the bulk of the Swiss’s inquiries.

© Provided by El Confidencial

José María OlmoA secret document from March 2011 directly implicates Juan Carlos I in the management of the instrumental company that received the 64.8 million euros from the King of Saudi Arabia

For this, the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office, within the framework of its investigation on the AVE to Mecca, moved a letters rogatory to Switzerland in February in which he requested, among other things, the details that they had discovered about the “donation” that Saudi Arabia gave in 2008 to don Juan Carlos, including the identities not only of their holders, but also of their beneficiaries. The answer came in July and included information on how the Panamanian Lucum Foundation entered into an account of the Swiss private bank Mirabaud $ 100 million on August 8, 2008, justifying itself as “a gift according to Saudi tradition.” The statutes of the Panamanian society contain the heading of the King Emeritus in its three pages and place it as “First beneficiary” of the funds, as can be seen in the report that El Confidencial put forward.

Despite this, legal sources explain that Switzerland has not yet sent the bulk of the documentation that Bertossa has. In Spain, it is especially interesting to collect all the information on the accounts or merchantings of properties in which the alleged figureheads participated, since the key can be found there if they are events subsequent to the abdication of Juan Carlos I and, therefore, prosecutable in Spain. The investigation has also passed Anticorruption to the Supreme Prosecutor’s Office, which has created a team with five high-ranking prosecutors to “define or rule out” the criminal relevance of the facts occurred since June 2014, when Juan Carlos I stopped being head of the State and lost inviolability. The five are now waiting for the requested documentation to arrive in Switzerland.

But the two investigations ran in parallel when an unexpected visitor appeared: the judge in the Villarejo case, Manuel García-Castellón. On July 27, he agreed to reopening of the piece Carol and charged Larsen, Villarejo and Villalonga, who will have to declare on September 7 and 8. The magistrate seeks to clarify whether Larsen hired the former commissioner to investigate a personal assistant who worked for her and could be leaking information from her private life, “notwithstanding that this may lead to other types of infractions.” The three judicial fronts that affect Juan Carlos I thus continue their course however much he has left Spain: The prosecutors of the Supreme have to receive the bulk of the Swiss investigation and those who in 2015 spoke of their alleged opaque businesses will be questioned at the Hearing.


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