Money-laundering probe linked to former king dropped — Analysis
Swiss prosecutors have dropped a money-laundering case linked to Spain’s ex-King Juan Carlos. Despite finding that his offshore fund got $100 million from Saudi Arabia, they failed to prove it was an “illegal commission” payment.
Prosecutor Yves Bertossa announced Monday that the investigation into the high-profile case of corruption had been closed.
Investigators found that Juan Carlos I, a Panamanian foundation and its beneficial owner had received major Saudi Arabian donations. Officially, however, revealed that no link was established between this donation and three-years later contracts to Spanish firms for the construction of high-speed rail connections in Saudi Arabia.
“The investigation has established that Juan Carlos I did, in fact, receive $100 million on the Lucum foundation account at Mirabaud & Cie SA in Geneva, from the Saudi finance ministry on August 8, 2008,” Bertossa said.
This case was first launched in 2018, following media reports that claimed the ex-Spanish monarch received a gift. “illegal commissions”For overseas contracts, stash his slush money in Swiss or offshore bank accounts.
Although no criminal charges were filed against the ex-king, it did concern his friends, Corinna Zur Sayn-Wittgenstein, his lover. The king’s mistress was suspected of receiving additional payments of nearly $9 million from Kuwait and Bahrain into her accounts. She and the other accused have been cleared of all charges.
While Juan Carlos I – currently believed to be living in the United Arab Emirates – has not made any public statements on the case, Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein welcomed the closure of the probe. She claimed in a Monday written statement that she had received unspecified information. “principal wrongdoers”The matter is still uninvestigated. “have been given time to conceal their activities”During the course of the probe.
“Today I have finally been cleared of wrongdoing of any kind in the three-year investigation conducted by the Swiss prosecutor,” Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein stated. “My innocence was evident at the outset and this episode has served to harm me further as part of the ongoing abuse campaign against me by certain Spanish interests.”
Mirabaud bank has been the sole entity subject to penalties for the corruption scandal. It was penalized 50,000 Swiss Francs ($54,000.00) because it failed to correctly report an account that had suspicious financial transactions. While accepting the sanction, the bank said that they were happy to close the proceedings. They also stated that their alleged failure didn’t involve the account associated with the former King.