More Trouble For Spain´s Former King Juan Carlos
The controversies surrounding the former Spanish King Juan Carlos I continues with further revelations in a Swiss money-laundering investigation being held in Geneva.
The investigation heard that in 2010, the Emeritus King Juan Carlos I was in Geneva to deposit €1.7 million with his Swiss bank manager Arturo Fasana. The money was allegedly a gift from the ruler of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa bin Salman al-Khalifa.
According to statements made by Fasana, Saudi Arabia had also made a donation of $100 million in 2008 to Juan Carlos. According to Swiss prosecutors the payment was in connection to commisions related to the Spanish consortium ( led by Adif and Renfe) to build the high speed train line to Mecca.
The case also involves the veteran Saudi diplomat Adel al-Jubeir, who is alleged to have handed the $100 million in cash and in person to the former king. The meeting is said to have taken place with Fasana present.
Swiss prosecutors released statements from Arturo Fasana, who is being investigated for alleged money laundering. He stated that the former king arrived for lunch in Geneva with a suitcase containing €1.7 million – which he testified came from the Sultan of Bahrain, Salman al-Khalifa.
The Swiss bank account being investigated was held in the name of the Panamanian offshore account Lucum.
To add to the former kings discomfort his former friend and socialite Corinna Larsen has been making statements of her own claiming threats made to her over the investigation and involvement by members of the Spanish secret service.
Of the 100 million dollar donation, €65 million was then transferred to Monaco based socialite Corinna Larsen Swiss account of which in turn €39 million was later transferred to one of her US bank accounts.
Part of the money, according to this document, was used by Larsen to purchase and refurbish two apartments at the exclusive Swiss ski resort of Villars-sur-Ollon, and to acquire a mansion in north London worth £5 million (€5.4 million).
The investigation is ongoing.
Juan Carlos came to the throne following the death of General Franco in 1975 and is widely credited with overseeing the return to democracy and the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in 1978. He was forced to abdicated in favour of his son Felipe in 2014 after a public backlash over his controversial elephant hunting expedition to Botswana.
The former king has been in increasingly poor health – in 2010 he underwent lung surgery, In 2012 he was treated for a a triple hip fracture following his infamous Botswana trip. In 2018 he had knee surgery. followed by heart surgery last year.