Spain’s Justice Minister has instructed supreme court prosecutors to investigate new corruption allegations against the disgraced king of the country.
Juan Carlos, who abdicated in 2014, is currently under investigation for his alleged role in a deal under which a Spanish conglomerate won a € 6.7 billion contract. (£ 5.9 billion) for the construction of a high-speed rail line in Saudi Arabia.
Reports appeared in March showing that Juan Carlos received a payment of $ 100 million (€ 88 million) from Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah in 2008, three years before the contract was awarded. The king is protected by constitutional immunity while on the throne, but loses protection when he resigns to make room for his son, King Felipe.
The attorney general’s office did not give details of the new investigation, but said in a statement Tuesday that an ordinance has been issued instructing prosecutors to fight corruption and organized crime. forward their report on the former king to the supreme court prosecutors “so they can continue their investigation until a conclusion is reached”.
The announcement comes hours after e-newspaper ElDiario.es reported that anti-corruption prosecutors were investigating Juan Carlos, his wife Sofía and other members of the royal family for credit card use. use linked to accounts that are not in their name.
According to Eldiario.es, the transactions under investigation took place between 2016 and 2018, after Juan Carlos gave up his immunity.
He abdicated after a series of catastrophic scandals that culminated in a controversial elephant hunting trip to Botswana while Spain was devastated by the effects of the 2008 financial crisis.
But the scandals did not die. Felipe stripped Juan Carlos of his annual salary in March and relinquished his father’s personal inheritance right after it was reported that he was preparing to receive millions of euros from a secret foreign fund with ties to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia.
Three months later, the supreme court prosecutor said an investigation had opened into “the second phase of the construction of a high-speed rail line connecting the cities of Medina and Mecca” and to “identify or remove the criminal involvement of the events occurring after June 2014 ”, when Juan Carlos’ deadline ended.
Prosecutors in Switzerland are looking at several accounts held by the former monarch and his alleged associates in the country.
In the Swiss prosecutor’s documents, Juan Carlos received a $ 100 million “donation” from the king of Saudi Arabia, which he put into a foreign account in 2008. He was defendant. forced to donate 65 million euros from the account to her former lover, Corinna Larsen, four years later.
Spanish website El Confidencial reported in July that Juan Carlos pulled out 100,000 euros a month from his account between 2008 and 2012, and used the money to cover some royal expenses.
Juan Carlos said that he never told his son that he benefited from two foreign funds, but did not comment further on the allegations.
In August, he vowed to go into exile to protect his son from further confusion. In a letter to Felipe and published by the royal family, Juan Carlos said he would move from Spain because “of the public consequences that certain events in the past in my private life are causing. out”.