The Swiss justice announced this Monday that it had shelved the investigation into the assets of the Spanish emeritus king Juan Carlos in that country, including some 100 million dollars transferred by Saudi Arabia.
In a statement, the Geneva prosecutor’s office indicated 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.
The legal costs, of 200,000 Swiss francs (about $ 216,000, 192,000 euros), will in any case be borne by the defendants, including the former Spanish head of state (1975-2014).
On August 6, 2018, the Swiss justice opened a criminal case for “aggravated money laundering” after the publication of press reports according to which the emeritus king had received illegal commissions in the framework of public contracts obtained by Spanish companies.
In particular, the suspicions centered on a contract obtained by companies in his country for the construction of the high-speed train between Medina and Mecca.
The instruction allowed to establish that Juan Carlos actually received on August 8, 2008 the sum of 100 million dollars from the Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia in an account of the LUCUM foundation opened in the bank MIRABAUD & CIE SA in Geneva.
The procedure also showed evidence of other transfers received by Juan Carlos or Corinna Zu Zein-Wittgenstein, his ex-lover, of several million dollars, “from Kuwait and Bahrain,” according to the prosecution.
In June 2012, the LUCUM foundation account was closed and its balance, approximately € 65 million, was transferred to an account in the Bahamas of a company owned by Corinna Zu Zein-Wittgenstein.
After the investigation, the Swiss prosecutor’s office found that “the use of a foundation, as well as the tax domicile of the companies by the different protagonists, demonstrated a desire to dissimulate”.
The emeritus king of Spain, who, surrounded by revelations in the press about his alleged opaque fortune, went into exile in August 2020 in the United Arab Emirates, is the subject of three investigations in his country.
The Spanish prosecutor’s office has extended its investigation for a further six months as of December 17.
The initial proceedings were opened in Spain in December 2018.