Swiss prosecutors shelf investigation into €65m donation from Juan Carlos I to Corinna

Prosecutor exonerates former king's ex mistress and managers of foundation where the money from Saudi Arabia was deposited

2 min
Joan Carles I in an archive image.

MadridSwiss prosecutor Yves Bertossa has shelved the case against former Spanish king Juan Carlos's ex mistress Corinna Larsen and the managers of the Lucum Foundation, the Panamanian company through which Juan Carlos had deposited the €65m he received from Saudi Arabia in 2008 in Mirabaud bank account in Geneva. In June 2012, the former Spanish monarch handed the money over to Larsen. Managers Arturo Fasana and Dante Canonica, administrator of the foundation established in tax haven Panama, were also under investigation.

According to Europa Press, the Geneva prosecutor has closed the case and thus exonerated those under investigation, among whom Juan Carlos I was not included. Bertossa was investigating whether an alleged crime of money laundering and the collection of irregular commissions had been committed due to the lack of transparency in the €65m donation. The news was broken by Okdiario, which highlights that the prosecutor has decided that the gift of the Saudi king, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, to Juan Carlos I is not linked to illegal commissions for the high speed train rail works to Mecca.

The resolution comes before the Spanish Supreme Court's prosecutor closed proceedings on the former king's undeclared foreign fortune. For weeks it has been taken for granted that the Public Prosecutor's Office would throw out the case; however, the case was extended until evidence requested from the Swiss authorities was analysed. This related to a multimillion-dollar fund hidden on the island of Jersey.

In parallel, a case on the alleged harassment Corina Larsen suffered is being hear in London. Juan Carlos's former mistress denounced she had been subjected to pressure from the director of the Spanish intelligence services, Félix Sanz Roldán, when their relationship was broken off and there were fears she could disclose compromising information about the former king. Juan Carlos's accident while shooting elephants in Botswana in 2012 only heightened fears, and he redoubled his offensive demanding Larsen return the €65m. She refused.