Juan Carlos I, Spain’s former king, closed an account in a Swiss Bank in June, 2012, because the government had tightened the anti-corruption legislation. This is stated in the international letters rogatory that the Swiss Prosecutor’s Office sent to the judge of the Villarejo case, Manuel García-Castellón. It was reported by El País newspaper on Monday.
The prosecutor Yves Bertossa declared that the account of the Lucum Foundation, whose first beneficiary is Juan Carlos I, was closed “due to the new Swiss tax legislation” and adds that the then head of state “signed an order to transfer the balance of Lucum’s account to Corinna Larsen (the ex-lover of Spain’s former King) in the name of Solare Investors Corporation at Gonet and Cie Bank in Nassau, Bahamas.”
In this way, Corinna Larsen kept the funds of the Lucum Foundation, whose second beneficiary is the current head of the Spanish State, Felipe VI. The king of Spain was informed a year ago by Corinna Larsen’s lawyers of his situation and then, according to the Royal Household, he went to the notary to renounce his father’s inheritance, although experts in Civil Law emphasize that it is just a gesture because you cannot give up the living inheritance of the owner of the money.
Prosecutor Bertossa is investigating an alleged crime of “aggravated money laundering” and the alleged payment of commissions for the work of the AVE from Medina to Mecca built by a consortium of Spanish companies led by OHL. According to the prosecutor, the winning bidders had granted in their offer a “30 percent discount” for the alleged intercession of the king, who would have taken 64.8 million euros in exchange.
On Monday, Spain’s King Felipe VI renounced his inheritance from his father and stripped the former King Juan Carlos of his £175,000-a-year royal income in order to save himself amid a growing social repulsion against the monarchy. The calls for his abdication following a finance scandal served as a catalyst for the new king to take drastic action.
Swiss prosecutors are investigating an offshore account allegedly operated for Felipe VI’s father Juan Carlos, 82, which is suspected to have received €88 million from Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah in 2008. According to the newspaper La Tribune de Genève, prosecutors believe the fund could be linked to kickback payments after the former monarch helped to broker business deals with Saudi Arabia while still in power.
On Saturday, March 14, The Telegraph reported that Felipe was named as a beneficiary of an offshore fund that controls the Swiss account with an alleged 65 million euro gift ($72 million USD) from Saudi Arabia, given to his father when he was on the throne. In 2012, around $65 million (€57 million) was transferred from this account to Corinna Larsen, a Monaco-based businesswoman and ex-lover of Juan Carlos.
Larsen told the investigators in 2018 that the money was a donation from the former king after a recording emerged in which she allegedly claimed she was a frontwoman Liaison for his portfolio abroad for his assets abroad.
The reports also say that she will file a lawsuit against the former head of Spanish intelligence, Félix Sanz Roldán, for allegedly organizing an intimidation campaign against her continually, from 2012, when he learned of her relationship with the former king.
The Mossos d’Esquadra (Catalan police) has concluded that the rubber bullet that seriously injured Roger Español, who lost an eye, in Barcelona on October 1st, 2017, was the second shot by a Spanish police officer in that area. This report was presented before the judge at the case open by the Court of Instruction No. 7 of Barcelona and was ratified by the authors. The report also identifies the officer involved in the two shootings, which coincides with a private expert report commissioned by the defense of Español and the Iridia Center for the defense of human rights. Specifically, it was agent UC563.
According to judicial sources, the agents have explained to the judge that for the identification of the gunman in question they have made two analyses: one of clothing and other of traceability.
The dress analysis has identified the gunman who shot Español by several elements that differentiate him from his companions: he does not wear shin guards, has the ammunition bag open and wears gloves.
The recordings and photographs show two consecutive sequences: in the first you see the officer pointing at Español just as he is about to hit a flat object lying on the ground towards the police line. The Mossos say that the officer shot at him at this time, although they do not specify if it was only a projectile or a rubber bullet. After that, Español returned to the sidewalk.
In the second sequence, the identified gunman makes the same movement and disappears from view behind containers on the same sidewalk where Español is located. After several moves, he shoots for the second time. In this case, it was a rubber bullet that hit Español.
The fact that Español was shot at more than once reinforces the thesis that this was not a random response, as the now-identified officer stated earlier this week in court. This would allow him to be tried at the felony of intentional injury and not recklessness.
Carlos Vidal, one of the members of the Spanish Electoral Board (JEC) who voted to disqualify the President of the Generalitat, Quim Torra, and MEP Oriol Junqueras, was a member of the right-wing party PP until a few weeks before his appointment, InfoLibre informs.
When asked by InfoLibre, Vidal admits that he did not mention that he was a member of PP to members of the Congress because he no longer had a party membership. “Nothing should be mentioned,” he says. In addition, he says that he did not intend to abstain from voting on pro-independence politicians because he believes “there was no reason to do so.”
This information comes after the scandal of Andrés Betancor, another JEC member who worked as a C’s party advisor while also fulfilling his duties in the central electoral body. He participated in the exclusion of the candidature of Carles Puigdemont in the 2019 European elections and banned the nominations of exiled Catalan leaders Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí.
President Quim Torra, who has filed a lawsuit agaisnt Andrés Betancor for prevarication and election crime, has also spoken on the news about Carlos Vidal and the PP party in a tweet: “Everyone has the right to have their cause heard equally and publicly and within a reasonable time by an independent and impartial court …” Art 47. Letter of Fundamental Rights EU. PP members judging us. How far Europe is!”
The former Spanish Foreign Minister, Josep Borrell, hired seven communication agencies from the United States, Belgium, United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Mexico and Germany respectively to improve the international image of Spain. This has been confirmed by the Pedro Sánchez administration in response to a parliamentary question by EH Bildu MP Jon Iñarritu.
Last October, Ambassador Santiago Cabanas of the Spanish embassy in Washington announced that it had hired the Glover Park Group agency to “strengthen the communications policy in a difficult time.” He asserted that the independence story was one of the challenges to be countered. The monthly contract was worth fifteen thousand euros.
“It should be noted that similar contracts have been signed, more or less simultaneously, of the same duration and with the same objective, through our embassies in France, Belgium, Germany, United Kingdom, Switzerland and Mexico,” said the Spanish executive.
The Spanish government says that these types of contracts “are not uncommon in the Spanish state’s foreign action” and that they focus on many different areas. For example, the Spanish administration describes Spain’s image in the USA as “very positive.” In this regard, they limit the agreement to the goal of “reinforcing the relationship with American media and opinion leaders.”
Here is the full responsefrom the Spanish government to Jon Iñarritu:
On Monday, Ciudadanos (C’s) party MEP Adrián Vázquez was elected to chair the Legal Affairs Commission (JURI) of the European Parliament which will discuss the response to requests for supplication sent by the Supreme Court to extradite President Puigdemont and exiled leaders Toni Comín and Clara Ponsatí.
The three Catalan leaders will soon appear before this commission to discuss whether their immunity as MEPs is lifted by the EU Parliament. This process is expected to take several months and will conclude with a recommendation that will be voted in the plenary.
The Legal Affairs Committee has a total of eight Spanish MEPs, five of them as holders and three more as alternates. The MEPs are the “socialists” Ibán García and Marcos Ros, and the “conservatives” Esteban González Pons, Javier Zarzalejos, and Adrián Vázquez. As substitutes are the unregistered liberal Javier Nart, the “socialist” Nacho Sánchez Amor, and the head of the far-right party Vox in the Eurochamber, Jorge Buxadé.
Vázquez joined the European Parliament in early February after the departure of British MEPs due to Brexit. According to the distribution of chairs between the political groups in the chamber, this presidency corresponded to the Renew Europe parliamentary group – the group that integrates C’s. In his presentation, Vázquez said that as chairman of the commission he wanted to work with “transparency and dialogue.”
The Greens asked for a postponement of the vote to have more time to examine and meet the candidate, but the interim president indicated that the rules did not allow it and the vote took place.
The same commission will decide in the next few days who will be assigned as the spokesperson at the request for the supplicatory issued by the Spanish Supreme Court against the Catalan leaders. Most sources point out that the Bulgarian Conservative and Reformist MEP Angel Dzhambazki will be the chosen one.
The defense of jailed Catalan leader Oriol Junqueras is preparing an appeal in the General Court of the European Union (EGC) against the decision of the European Parliament to exclude him as Member of the European Parliament (MEP). Precautionary measures will be required for the EGC to suspend the decision of David Sassoli, President of the Euro-Chamber, and the court will have to determine whether to accept it within a few hours after the appeal is presented.
The General Court of the European Union (EGC) is a constituent Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). It hears cases against institutions of the European Union by individuals and member states.
According to article 263 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), any citizen can file an appeal against the acts of European institutions that directly affect him/her. The procedure for this appeal may take several months, but the precautionary measures will be pronounced immediately, a few hours after the petition has been registered. The EGC could accept or reject them. If they are accepted, the European Parliament will be obliged to recognize Junqueras as an MEP again.
The parallel route to the ECJ
In parallel with the appeal to the EGC, Junqueras’ defense will file an appeal against the Spanish Supreme Court’s decision to keep him in prison. If this move fails, Junqueras’ defense will appeal to the Spanish Constitutional Court for violation of his political and constitutional rights. The next and final step would be to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).