Politics 07/10/2021

Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office will continue investigating Juan Carlos I

Prosecutor's Office of the Supreme Court separated part of the inquiries in November 2020

2 min
Elena de Borbó with the king emeritus and businessman Manuel Piñeira in 2019.

MadridThe upcoming closure of proceedings in three investigations into the allegedly criminal activities of former Spanish king Juan Carlos I by the Supreme Court Prosecutor's Office will, according to judicial sources, leave open those kept by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office on possible corruption in international economic transactions in the awarding of the high-speed train from Mecca to Medina in 2011.

These proceedings were initiated at the end of 2018 by the Anti-corruption Office because, under an agreement signed by the countries of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), has the power to investigate alleged crimes defined in Article 286 of the Criminal Code.

Along with these proceedings, the Anti-corruption Office also investigated the funds transferred, about €800,000 from Ireland by the Mexican financier Allen Sanginés-Krause to Juan Carlos's fixer, air colonel Nicolás Murga, who paid his expenses, as well as his wife's, daughters' and grandchildren's.

In the investigation into the award, prosecutor Luis Pastor questioned Shahpari Zanganeh – wife of arms dealer Adnan Kassoggi, who died in 2017 – who was hired by the Spanish-Saudi consortium of companies Al Shoula, aspiring to take over the high-speed train project, to unblock negotiations in 2011 for a management fee of about €100m.

Corinna's statement

Pastor also travelled to London in 2019 to take Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein's statement who had already been charged in 2018 by Geneva prosecutor Yves Bertossa. The Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office sent the case to the Supreme Court's Prosecutor's Office, which took over all the proceedings on 5 June 2018.

In November 2020, lieutenant prosecutor Juan Ignacio Campos, in charge of the investigations on the former king, decided to separate the proceedings on the high-peed train (the transfer of $100m made by the Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia on August 8, 2008 to an account in the Mirabaud bank whose beneficiary was Juan Carlos through Panamanian foundation Lucum) and the proceedings on bribery. The latter he sent back to the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office

In January 2021, Prosecutor Pastor sent a rogatory commission (international judicial assistance) to Saudi Arabia to collect data on a possible case of corruption or bribery of public officials (article 286 already mentioned) in the awarding of the project of €6.7bn. The commission was received by the Saudi authorities in July, as confirmed by the Spanish Ministry of Justice

But the Saudi Arabian authorities have not replied to the request by the Anti-Corruption Prosecutor's Office. Judicial sources point out that it is a common practice in that country not to cooperate judicially with countries that request it.

Prosecutor Pastor summoned four Spanish ambassadors to Saudi Arabia to testify as witnesses. Among them, Pablo Bravo Lozano, who held that position between December 11, 2009 and May 25, 2012, a key period in the outcome of the award of the Mecca-Medina high speed train.

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