By Laura Kemp •
Published: 01 May 2020 • 9:53
IN 2010, when Juan Carlos I was still head of the Spanish state, King Juan Carlos I carried a briefcase full of banknotes, in total €1.7 million, which he put in the hands of his Swiss fund manager Arturo Fasana.
The money came from a delivery that the Sultan of Bahrain had made to the Spanish king. This was stated by Fasana in his statement to the Geneva prosecutor Yves Bertossa, who has been conducting a secret investigation into the funds that Juan Carlos I passed through banks in the Swiss capital as the origin of this capital is being thoroughly questioned.
Prosecutor Bertossa has accused Corinna Larsen, Arturo Fasana and the lawyer Dante Canonica, who worked for years in the latter’s office, of “aggravated money laundering.”
Bertossa believes that the funds transferred by Juan Carlos I came from irregular commissions in Middle Eastern countries and that Fasana and Canonical acted as figureheads of the operation. One of those commissions would be the aforementioned delivery from the Sultan of Bahrain, Hamad bin Isa Al Jaifa, of $1,895,250 (€1.7 million).
Probably the largest discovered commission was received by Juan Carlos I from Saudi Arabia for mediating the construction of the AVE to Mecca with Spanish companies, for which he is suspected to have received $100 million.
Bertossa first opened this investigation in Switzerland as a result of the publication in Spain that exposed a recording in which Larsen confessed that Juan Carlos I had committed several criminal acts, including money laundering.
The National Court in Spain investigated this separate case of alleged corruption on behalf of the king, but the judge in the Villarejo case closed the investigation provisionally due to a lack of evidence and because as he was the king the the acts committed were whilst he was head of state and, therefore, according to the Constitution he was inviolable. In the commissioner’s recording of the German businesswoman, she went so far as to say of Juan Carlos I “he does not know how to distinguish the legal from the illegal.”
Share this story
Subscribe to our Euro Weekly News alerts to get the latest stories into your inbox!
By signing up, you will create a Euro Weekly News account if you don't already have one. Review our
Originally from UK, Laura is based in Axarquia and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features.
Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at email@example.com.
Download our media pack in either English or Spanish.