Politics 12/06/2021

Ernesto Ekaizer: "Felipe VI gave the 3-O speech while he was benefiting from funds abroad"

4 min
ERNESTOEKAIZER: "The state security forces set the news and political agenda in Spain"

Ernesto Ekaizer (Buenos Aires, 1949) does not stop even in the midst of convalescence from a stroke that has led him to be admitted to hospital four times. He has not yet fully recovered, but he has just published El rey al desnudo. Historia de un fraude (Ediciones B).

How is your health?

— Well, better. It all started in September, when they induced a coma. And when you're discharged you think that's it, but it's not. Everything starts all over again and now I'm on corticoids, which is devastating for the virus but also for my body.

And how did you do it, to finish a book like this?

— I practically declared myself not sick, with the permission of the pneumologists. I only stopped writing when I went to the ICU. And the book is the result of a previous research and I just had to write it. It is intended to be a reference book about the evidence against Juan Carlos I that makes him a fraud.

However, for many years the king was an untouchable figure.

— Yes, but notice that in 1993, when Banesto was intervened, the great fear of Felipe González was already the role of the king, who had a lot of relations with Mario Conde and Javier de la Rosa.

And when did he stop being untouchable? Was it after the Nóos case?

— No, it was before. Note that on 23-F very early on alternative versions to the official one began to be published. There is a key person, Sabino Fernández Campo, who is head of the King's Household, who always warned the King about his frivolous or fraudulent behaviour. Until the king removed him.

What is the king's modus operandi with money?

— The golden age coincides with his idyll with Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, between 2004 and 2009. But in the 90s, when Javier de la Rosa was responsible for investments in Kuwait Investments Office (KIO), he was already doing business or collecting commissions, lobbying for the Gulf War. This meant a transfer of 100 million dollars. And now one of the fringes of that payment has just been discovered in Jersey, as a result of the investigation that has been made in Spain induced by the Swiss prosecutor Yves Bertossa. This lobbying work is preceded by another permanent lobbying with Saudi Arabia. Juan Carlos I had a very good relationship with the Saudi royal house and with the sheikhs of Abu Dhabi and the United Arab Emirates - long before his self-imposed exile.

King Juan Carlos I with his mistress Corinna Larsen, in an archive image.

In some parts, the book is like a Le Carré novel: judges, policemen, spies...

— Well, I use new journalism techniques, which is based on the use of literary resources to explain what is an event: a transfer of 100 million dollars that is made on August 1, 2008 to the account of a Panamanian foundation, Lucum, which is Juan Carlos I's. And around this, there is a plot that takes place, a conspiracy, because it is Villarejo who uncovers the whole story with the leak of some audios of a conversation with Corinna in London in 2015 and 2016. And the payment of the high-speed train (AVE) commission to Mecca is revealed, and also other things, like the donation of an estate by the king of Morocco.

Is the figure of Corinna the key to this whole story?

— The king identifies himself with Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson and thinks about separating from the queen and starting a new life with Corinna. He tries to win Corinna back, with whom he had broken up in 2009, with the donation of the 100 million (64.5 million euros), which is made between 2011 and 2012. However, there is a change in Swiss law that makes his managers warn him that this account in the country is a time bomb, because he is still king. And so he makes an "irrevocable donation" to Corinna. What does he want? First he wants to get Corinna back. And then put the money in a safe place. He thinks that if he gets Corinna back, the money will belong to both of them. And the book narrates all this.

The move backfires, right?

— Yes, and he will accuse Corinna of being a thief, even though he is the one who gives her the money and has disinherited his children.

Another protagonist is the Swiss prosecutor Bertossa.

— Yes, we can say that he is the midwife of the investigation in Spain. Before him two judges of the Audiencia Nacional had tried to cover him up.

But how can the barrier of inviolability be overcome?

— It lasts until the abdication, in 2014. But he is so frivolous and feels so unpunished that he continues to use the funds of the Zagatzka Foundation to pay for his flights, between 6 and 7 million euros. In this foundation, Juan Carlos I is the third beneficiary (the first is his cousin Álvaro de Orleans), and Felipe VI, then Prince of Asturias, is the fourth. And now it is being investigated.

Are we to believe that Felipe VI knew nothing?

— He has told us he knew nothing. But it is strange that a relative puts you as a beneficiary in a foundation and does not tell you anything. How is it possible that Juan Carlos I, before the abdication, did not say: "Houston, we have a problem"? Note that on 3-O Felipe VI made a very tough speech, very much in line with the PP, against the Catalan independence movement. He added fuel to the fire instead of adopting the role of mediator, which is what his father did. Well, that speech is made by a person who is the third beneficiary of the Lucum Foundation and the fourth beneficiary of the Zagatzka Foundation. What would happen if it were proved that he did know that he had funds abroad?

He makes a speech in favour of compliance with the law.

— One of the jobs of journalism is to connect and relate the facts.

What is the next chapter?

— The girls travel a long way to see their father. I don't doubt that they go to give him affection, but let's not be naïve: the time for the inheritance is near.