On Monday, the Geneva judiciary announced that it would classify the investigation into assets of the Spanish ex-King Juan Carlos in Switzerland. They include $100 million deposited by Saudi Arabia.
After three years of investigation, the Geneva Public Prosecutor’s Office concluded that “all those transfers have been insufficiently documented”. Nevertheless, the investigation “has not been able to sufficiently establish that there is a link between the sum received from Saudi Arabia and the conclusion of contracts for the construction of a high-speed train.”
On August 6, 2018, the Geneva judiciary opened a criminal investigation into “serious money laundering” after reports appeared in the press that the former Spanish king obtained illegal commissions in the context of public tenders won by Spanish companies.
It was suspected that those committees were related to the conclusion of a contract by Spanish companies to construct a high-speed train between Medina and Mecca in Saudi Arabia.
The investigation revealed that on August 8, 2008, the former Spanish monarch received $100 million from the Saudi Ministry of Finance in the account of the LUCUM foundation at the MIRABAUD & CIE SA bank in Geneva.
According to the prosecutor’s office, the investigation also made clear that Juan Carlos or his ex-mistress Corinna Zu-Zein-Wittgenstein have received other deposits, “being $1,895,250 in cash, -$5,000,000.-, 2,000,000 dollars.- from Kuwait and Bahrain”, making a total of nearly nine million dollars.
In June 2012, the account of the LUCUM foundation was closed. The balance of about 65 million euros moved to the account in the Bahamas of a subsidiary of Corinna Zu Zein-Wittgenstein.
In closing the investigation, the Geneva Public Prosecutor’s Office stated that “the recourse by the protagonists to a foundation as well as subsidiaries indicates that they wanted to hide.”
“The amounts involved, the origin of the funds, the lack of adequate documentation to justify the transfers, the alleged successive donations (first by the Saudi king with the beneficiary Juan Carlos and then by the latter to Corinna Zu Zein-Wittgenstein) as well as the chronology of the events are indications at the expense of the suspects,” said the Geneva Public Prosecutor’s Office.
Juan Carlos was central to the transition to democracy after the death of Spanish dictator Franco in 1975. He abdicated in 2014 amid scandals and was the subject of three investigations in Spain.