Swiss Attorney General Closes Corruption Case Against Honorary King Juan Carlos

The Swiss justice announced, on Monday, that it had suspended the investigation into the assets of the Honorary Spanish King Juan Carlos I in that country, including about $ 100 million transferred by Saudi Arabia.

The Geneva Prosecutor’s Office indicated, in a statement, that the investigation “did not sufficiently establish a link between the amount received from Saudi Arabia and the conclusion of contracts for the construction of a high-speed train” in that country in 2011.

Court costs, amounting to 200,000 Swiss francs (about $216,000, 192,000 euros), will be borne by the defendants in any case, including the former Spanish head of state (1975-2014).

On August 6, 2018, the Swiss judiciary opened a criminal case for “aggravated money laundering” after publishing press reports that the honorary king had received illegal kickbacks under public contracts obtained by Spanish companies.

Doubts focused in particular on a contract obtained by companies in his country to build a high-speed train between Medina and Mecca.

The instructions made it possible to establish that on August 8, 2008, Juan Carlos I had received $100 million from the Ministry of Finance of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a Lucum Foundation account opened at Mirabaud Bank in Geneva.

The procedures also showed evidence of other transfers received by the honorary king or Corina zu Zen Wittgenstein, his former lover, worth several million dollars “from Kuwait and Bahrain,” according to the prosecution.

In June 2012, the Lucum Foundation’s account was closed and its balance of approximately 65 million euros was transferred to an account in the Bahamas of a company owned by Corinna Zu Zein-Wittgenstein.

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After the investigation, the Swiss Prosecutor’s Office found that “recourse to a foundation, as well as the tax domicile of companies by various parties, showed a desire to hide.”

– Investigations in Spain –

Juan Carlos I, 83, abdicated in 2014 in favor of his son Philip VI, after a series of scandals that began in 2012 with a hunt for elephants in Botswana as he traveled with Zoe Zen Wittgenstein, a Danish businesswoman divorced to a German prince. She kept her last name, although she is also known by her maiden name, Corina Larsen.

The honorary king went into exile in the United Arab Emirates in August 2020, and is subject to three investigations in his country, due to what was revealed in the press about his alleged mysterious wealth.

The Spanish Public Prosecutor’s Office, which began its proceedings in December 2018, has extended its work for another six months from 17 December.

The first line of investigation seeks to determine whether it charges commissions on high-speed railways in Saudi Arabia.

The prosecution in this section had the information of Swiss Prosecutor Yves Bertosa. The official version is that the $100 million withdrawn was a gift from one king to another.

In any case, prosecutors need to discover the crimes after 2014, because until his abdication the honorary king had immunity from justice.

The second line of the investigation, which opened two years ago, concerns the former president’s possible use of government credit cards linked to bank accounts in the name of a Mexican businessman and Air Force colonel.

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And the last of them, which began a year ago, is seeking information about a possible trust associated with Juan Carlos I on the island of Jersey.

Facing pressure, the former king has made two tax adjustments of about 5 million euros ($5.66 million) since the end of 2020 for undisclosed income in various fiscal years, in an attempt to avoid inquiries.

Due to the spread of press reports about his father, King Philip VI distanced himself from him and in March 2020 withdrew his annual allowance of about 200,000 euros ($231,690) and gave up his father’s inheritance.

apo / vog / du-mar / es

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