Newspaper El Confidencial Reveals the Existence of a Secret Document that Implicates Spain King’s Emeritus Juan Carlos I with the Management of an Instrumental Company to Hide €64.8 Million from Saudi Arabia

On Tuesday, newspaper El Confidencial announced that it had access to a private document signed by Spain’s King’s emeritus, Juan Carlos I, which implicates him in the management of an “offshore” structure used to “hide” €64.8 million euros from Saudi Arabia. In the three documents, Juan Carlos I appears as the first beneficiary of the funds of the Panamanian society, the Lucum Foundation. His son and current King appears as second beneficiary.

The documents show that the Lucum Foundation was created in Panama on July 31, 2008, by a Swiss financial manager, Arturo Fasana, and the lawyer Dante Canonica. Fasana became the president, and Canonica secretary.

The Lucum Foundation was created to act as a front for an account in Switzerland at the Mirabaud bank that received “a donation of €64.8 million made by the King of Saudi Arabia to the King of Spain.”

On March 10, 2011, the Swiss lawyer and Arturo Fasana established the internal regulations by which it would be governed. The new statutes nullified “any previous regime” of the company and appointed Juan Carlos I, King of Spain (Juan Carlos Alfonso Víctor María de Borbón y Borbón) as true owner of the foundation, born on January 5, 1938 in Rome, Italy, meaning that the €64.8 million donation by Saudi Arabia was now property of the Spanish monarch, according to the secret documents. The monarch enjoyed full rights to “freely dispose of the assets of the foundation during his lifetime without any limitation.”

The documents also reveal that if Juan Carlos I died, the money would be under the control of the “second beneficiary,” the current King Felipe VI, “Prince Felipe of Bourbon and Greece, Prince of Asturias, born on January 30, 1968 in Madrid.”

“Following the death of the first beneficiary, the second beneficiary will have the right to dispose of all the assets of the foundation, without any limitation,” the document states.

The conditions for accessing the money
There were some conditions required for Spain’s King Felipe V to access the money from the foundation. According to the documents, the current head of state had to comply the stipulations in his father’s will that the funds that remained after his death be used to “guarantee the maintenance of all members of the Spanish royal family, in particular, from SM Queen Sofía of Spain, to S.A.R. the Infanta Elena de Borbón y Grecia, Duchess of Lugo, and her children born or to be born, of S.A.R. the Infanta Cristina de Borbón y Grecia, Duchess of Palma of Mallorca, and her children born or to be born.”

In other words, in practice, the entire royal family and even possible new members, such as future children of the infantas, appeared as beneficiaries of the account in Switzerland.

Dissolution in 2012
The foundation was dissolved in September 2012. By then, the King Emeritus had only spent a small part of the €64.8 million ($100 million at the time) that he had received from Saudi Arabia as an alleged donation. The monarch transferred the remaining money to his then lover, Corinna Larsen, and closed the Panamanian structure.

Catalan Interior Ministry Announces that 50 Catalan Police Officers (Mossos) Are Under Investigation for Alleged Irregularities and Violence, but only One Officer Has Been Suspended

On Monday, the Catalan Interior Ministry presented an audit to assess possible police irregularities and announced that 50 Catalan police officers (Mossos) were under investigation for their alleged violence during the protests against the sentencing of jailed Catalan pro-independence leaders last October.

The officers under investigation are being tried in 34 different proceedings. Human rights organizations denounced the excessive use of force by the Catalan and Spanish police during the protests.

Catalan Interior Minister, Miquel Buch, said that there were 877 demonstrations in Catalonia following the Supreme Court ruling. He added that there were “violent episodes” during 20% of these protests. The protests left around 600 people injured, mostly unarmed, peaceful civilians.

Despite the condemnations of police violence by human rights organizations, Eduard Sallent, the head of Catalonia’s police, Mossos, who has been involved in controversies often, defended how the officers dealt with the protests, stressing that their attitude was “mostly passive and defensive.”

For now, only one officer has been suspended, according to Sallent.

The presentation of the audit became mired in controversy because not all media organizations were notified about the event and some journalists were not allowed to attend it despite the fact that there was space inside the Egara auditorium. ERC and CUP deputies also denounced that the parliamentary group that is part of the Interior Committee was not allowed to attend the press conference.

There has been complete secrecy of the Mossos on the audit and alleged irregularities in the last few months. Little information has been released and the presentation of the document earlier this week has raised many questions. Awaiting the outcome of all the investigations currently underway, Catalan society expects openness and more transparency from a police force that is expected to protect all citizens equally regardless of their political affiliation and ethnicity.

News of Spanish King’s Half-a-Million-Dollar Secret Honeymoon Splurge Stokes Ire

Last week The Telegraph newspaper revealed that the extravagant honeymoon of Spain’s Royal Couple, a 2004 trip extending from Cambodia to Fiji, Samoa, California and Mexico, was paid for by his father, then King, Juan Carlos I, who is currently under investigation for alleged corruption.

Josep Cusí, a business friend of Juan Carlos I since the 70s and friend of the dictator Franco, allegedly acted as proxy by footing $269,000 of the $467,000 bill for the current Spanish monarch’s secret honeymoon. According to The Telegraph, Juan Carlos I paid half directly and half indirectly.

Cusí, who has always kept a low profile, is the emeritus king’s close confidant. He has accompanied him during surgical operations and medical check-ups. They have also been together in hunts and private trips. His name appeared in the press in 1984 when he allegedly punched a Spanish journalist in Italy because he had reported that one of his yachts had been sold for $275,000.

Relationship with Dictator Franco

Cusí had a good relationship with Dictator Franco. For twelve years, he traveled to the Pardo palace every Thursday to eat with him, as he confessed during an interview for Radio 4 a few years ago. “We would eat there and then I would give him shooting lessons,” he said.

In the same interview, he confessed to have inherited one of the shotguns of the dictator when he died. “It was an honor for me to receive that gift,” he said.

Relationship with the current king

In 2011, Cusí affirmed to have a good relationship with King Felipe VI. “I met Felipe when he was still in diapers, and we have a great relationship,” he said in an interview.

Following the Telegraph revelations, Spanish society should ask themselves whether the King and his spouse should pay back the money for their 2004 holiday. And if so, how and to who?

Racist Police Assault on a Young Man in Catalonia

On Monday, the anti-racist organization, SOS Racisme, revealed that a young man had suffered a racist assault at the hands of Catalan police officers (Mossos) on January 10th, 2019, in San Felíu Saserra, Catalonia.

The events took place on the afternoon of January 10, 2019, when the victim, Wubi, was leaving his apartment located in the same building in which a police supervised eviction taking place in the same building was underway. SOS Racisme explained how in the parking lot, a group of police officers entered and asked for his identification. As they checked his ID, one of the officers asked him if he was the building’s “gardener,” then “they started throwing garbage bags at him, pushing him, spitting on him and hitting him on the head while making racist insults.”

When Wubi tried to escape from the attack, one of the officers fired a gun at him. Fortunately, the officer missed and the bullet didn’t hit him, according to SOS Racisme. The young man then called his neighbors to warn them, but one of the officers got on the phone and threatened to issue a “search and arrest warrant” for him if he did not return. Faced with this, the young man decided to return while beginning to record the encounter on his cell phone. Once he returned, one of the officers threw him to the ground again, kicked him in the ribs, spat on him and humiliated him with racist insults. “They made me feel worse than shit” the young man said in a statement published by SOS Racisme.

In the audio recorded by the victim and published by the newspaper La Directa, the police officers physically attack the young man while he begs them to stop. “I am a human being just like you,” he said. The officers make racist remarks, such as “you are a monkey, you son of a bitch.” They also told him that the next time he sees the police he will run to Africa. “I’m racist a lot,” said one of the officers.

According to judicial sources, the case about the racist attack was opened in February of 2019 and the officers were charged with a crime of personal injury and a crime against moral integrity. The case is being investigated by the courtroom number 5 of Manresa, the same one that filed the complaint by the police against the victim. The same sources clarify that the six officers investigated were summoned to court last October and exercised their right to not testify. The court case is still open pending further proceedings.

The officers involved in the racist attack have been transferred to different locations and departments during the investigative process, but have not been suspended, granting them impunity.

For SOS Racisme, this case “is not only a consequence of the racist ideology of a group of Mossos officers,” but “is a testament to lack of control mechanisms, impunity, racism and police corporatism.”


Spain’s Supreme Court Public Prosecutor Investigates King Emeritus, Juan Carlos I, for Money Laundering

On Monday, Spain’s Supreme Court Public Prosecutor began proceedings to investigate King Emeritus, Juan Carlos I, for money laundering and fiscal crime. The investigation was initiated by the anti-corruption prosecutor’s office and has now been taken over by the public prosecutor.

The investigation focuses on the criminal activities which occurred after June, 2014, when the monarch abdicated and his immunity, enshrined in article 56.3 of the Spanish constitution as head of state, terminated.

The investigation originates from a case uncovered by the Swiss newspaper, Geneva Tribune, in March. It reported that the Swiss Prosecutor’s Office was investigating a “donation” of $100 million from the King of Saudi Arabia to Spain’s King Emeritus in a Swiss bank account for an alleged inter-mediation in the AVE contract to Mecca.

The transfer was made at the Mirabaud bank of the Panamanian Lucum foundation, linked to the emeritus king in 2008. The king closed the account in 2012 when Switzerland tightened its anti-money laundering legislation and distributed the remaining money to two of his ex-partners: $65 million to Corinna Larsen and $2 million to Marta Gayá.

Corinna Larsen revealed the commission received by Juan Carlos I in a secret conversation with former police Commissioner, José Villarejo, jailed in 2017 for criminal organization, bribery and money laundering. In the conversation, Corinna asserted that the king took that commission and that he used figureheads to hide his fortune. “He does not distinguish between legal and illegal.”

The alleged commission was paid in 2008, but the investigators must determine whether the king laundered money by moving it around, or if he committed a fiscal crime by not informing the Treasury of his income abroad.

Prosecutor Juan Ignacio Campos, an expert in economic cases, will lead the inquiry, which will look into the events in which Juan Carlos was involved from June 2014. The emeritus king cannot be tried for anything occurred before due to his immunity.

The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) Calls for the Annulment of the Convictions of Jailed Catalan Leaders Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez Over 2017 Peaceful Demonstration

The World Organization Against Torture (OMCT) has demanded the annulment of the convictions of jailed Catalan leaders Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez over the 2017 peaceful demonstration.

In a letter sent to Spain’s PM, Pedro Sánchez, the OMCT Secretary General, Gerald Staberock, demands that their sentences be suspended until the Constitutional Court rules on their appeal, which was accepted for consideration on May 6.

Staberock calls on the Spanish state to respect the people’s freedom of expression and assembly enshrined in international treaties that have been adopted by Spain.

“Based on the analysis of the facts, the course of the trial and the content of Judgment No. 459/2019, two elements are of particular concern. The first of these is that the Supreme Court’s ruling violated Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez’s individual rights. The verdict also sets a precedent that could negatively impact the effective enjoyment of the right to freedom of assembly in Spain,” says the anti-torture organization.

Staberock also calls for modification of the crime of sedition in a way that “establishes safeguards against possible restrictions to the exercise of the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.”

Cuixart and Sànchez were convicted for sedition by the Spanish Supreme Court in October 2019 for their roles in a peaceful demonstration in 2017.

Civil Guard Colonel Diego Pérez de los Cobos’ Dismissal Uncovers Anti-Government Deep State War

Colonel Diego Pérez de los Cobos’ dismissal has aggravated tensions between the deep state and the Spanish Government.

Colonel De los Cobos was head of the Civil Guard Command in Madrid. He was the coordinator of the police repression against the 2017 independence referendum in Catalonia. And he also testified against (the) Catalan political prisoners during the independence trial in the Spanish Supreme Court, resulting in unjust prison sentences for the Catalan leaders. Amnesty International and several international human rights organizations have repeatedly called for their immediate release.

According to official sources, De los Cobos was dismissed for failing to inform his superiors of a report delivered to the judge about the alleged criminal responsibility of the Spanish government in authorizing a feminist protest on March 8. The official version, however, says that he was dismissed because the ministry had “lost confidence” in him.

The report, full of errors and inconsistencies, points out that the Spanish administration did nothing to prevent the feminist rally on March 8 or other events when there was risk of Covid-19 outbreak. It targets Fernando Simón, director of the Health Emergencies Center, for not highlighting the risks of holding demonstrations, as well as the Spanish government’s delegate in Madrid, José Manuel Franco, for authorizing the protest.

The conservative Judge Carmen Rodríguez-Medel responded to the dismissal of Colonel De los Cobos by citing the Spanish government’s delegate in Madrid, José Manuel Franco, who is accused of prevarication. She also threatened to investigate the Spanish Ministry of Interior if she found out that De los Cobos had been dismissed because of her orders. .

Judge Rodríguez-Medel’s father and brother are also Civil Guards; her brother is the head of the Malaga Command.

In the last few days and following De los Cobos’ dismissal, second-in-command of the Civil Guard, Ceña, resigned and third-in-command, Fernando Santafé, was dismissed, though police sources state that he resigned. This has aggravated the situation and brings to light an existing war between the Spanish government and the deep state.

It is too early to know who will be victorious in this war, but the Spanish far-right movement led by the Vox party, with the collaboration of the right-wing Partido Popular (PP, Popular Party), has launched a virulent campaign against the government, aimed at gaining power by any means.

In the next few months, one of two possible scenarios is likely to play out. The so-called deep state, in collaboration with the far-right, may try to force the Partido “Socialista” Obrero Español (PSOE, Spanish “Socialist” Workers’ Party) to break up the coalition government with Podemos. The other possibility is that the deep state may force a new round of elections, expecting the right-wing party PP and the far-right party Vox to gain enough seats to form a new government with the far-right party Cs’ external support. Such an outcome would likely lead to the implementation of an authoritarian Hungary-style regime.

The Spanish Public Prosecutor’s Office Opposes the Release of Jailed Catalan Civil Society Leader Jordi Cuixart

The Spanish Public Prosecutor’s Office opposes the release of jailed Catalan civil society leader and president of Òmnium, Jordi Cuixart, while the Constitutional Court (TC) reviews the sentence resulted from the 2017 independence referendum. The prosecutor considers the prison sentence too high to be suspended. After hearing the parties’ pronouncement, the TC will have to make a decision.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office also declared that the sentence must be completed in order to ensure the “deterrent” effect in the face of possible crimes that may be committed by the rest of society.

Òmnium has reprimanded Pedro Sánchez for missing “the last chance to correct the violation of rights before going to European courts.” The entity emphasizes that the prosecution has taken this decision, ignoring the calls of Amnesty International and major international human rights organizations.

Òmnium vice-president, Marcel Mauri, also reminded that Sánchez said that “the public prosecutor was under his orders” and that it is the same prosecutor who opposes the freedom of Cuixart and the other political prisoners.

The prisoners filed appeals for protection between February and March, just before the pandemic erupted. This is the last step before they can bring their cases to the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, but it is also the step that can be extended the longest because the Constitutional Court usually takes years to resolve this type of appeal.

Amnesty International Calls for the Immediate Release of Jailed Catalan Leaders Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez

On Wednesday, Amnesty International (AI) demanded the immediate release of jailed Catalan leaders Jordi Cuixart and Jordi Sànchez. Both have been imprisoned since October 16, 2017, for participating in a peaceful demonstration on September 20, 2017.

AI made public that it sent a technical report to the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Spanish State Attorney’s Office, the defense (lawyers) and the private prosecutors (Vox), which highlights the vagueness of the crime of sedition the Catalan leaders are accused of and insists that the sentence against them violates their freedom of expression and assembly. “They must be released immediately,” the organization said in a statement.

The document was provided just at the time the Constitutional Court accepted the appeal of the Catalan leaders to declare the sentence null.

AI considers the sentence a disproportionate restriction of their rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. It does not meet the requirements of international human rights instruments, such as art. 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and art. 11.2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, established to be able to impose restrictions on judgments of this type.

“The definition of the criminal act of sedition must be substantially revised to ensure that it does not unduly criminalize the exercise of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly, nor does it impose disproportionate penalties on acts of peaceful civil disobedience,” said Esteban Beltrán, director of the NGO in Spain.

Spanish Prosecutor Opposes Jailed Catalan Leader Jordi Sànchez’s Leave Because The Purpose Of His Imprisonment Is To “Intimidate The Whole Society”

The Public Prosecutor’s Office has filed an appeal at the Barcelona High Court against the decision to grant jailed Catalan leader Jordi Sànchez permission, based on the article 100.2, to leave prison to work and volunteer for a few hours each week.

The prosecutor argues that prison sentences must serve to set a social example:

“The purpose of re-education and social reintegration indicated in article 25.2 of the Constitution has the purpose of special prevention and social intimidation to dissuade people in the commission of new crimes,” argues the public prosecutor.

“This means that when it comes to crimes considered serious, as analyzed here, the penalty must be identified by society and then affected as an effective sanction, in order to maintain confidence in the state of Law and in the good functioning of the Public Administration, affirming the maxim that Justice is equal for all,” he adds.

The prosecutor criticized the judge who endorsed the permission for Jordi Sànchez and scorned voluntary service of political prisoners. “If volunteering is the alternative to staying in a Penitentiary Center, the choice seems clear and lacks all merit,” he concluded.