Yves Bertossa considered summoning Juan Carlos I but decided that it would not be useful to the investigation
There are 14 pages. And in them she undresses Juan Carlos I, is a scanner on the movements of your account in the Mirabaud Bank -as the beneficiary holder of the Panamanian Lucum Foundation- and the accounts of his ex-lover Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. The 100 million dollars (64.8 million euros) transferred to Juan Carlos I in the Banque Mirabaud on August 8, 2008 by the Ministry of Finance of Saudi Arabia. And, on the way, payments from the Sultan of Bahrain of two million dollars (1.7 million euros) brought in banknotes by Juan Carlos I to his manager’s mansion in Geneva, Arturo Fasana, and deposited by him in April 2010 in the bank account of The grove, or credit of five million dollars by Kuwait to Corinna. And the shipment, on June 5, 2012, of the 64.8 million euros by Juan Carlos I to the account of the firm Solar, from Corinna, in the Banco Gonet from Bahamas.
Yves BertossaAs EL PERIÓDICO announced exclusively on Sunday night, it was preparing to adopt an important resolution on the future of a procedure opened on August 6, 2018, three and a half years ago, leaving the accusations without effect.
There were four investigated: Arturo Fasana, manager of Juan Carlos I; Dante Canonica, lawyer of the monarch; the Mirabaud Bank, the bank where the operations were carried out; Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, ex-lover of Juan Carlos I to whom he donated the 64.8 million euros with the aim of continuing to use them for his interests, as he had done between 2008 and June 2012.
The four have stayed free of charge, but they have to bear the costs because in Switzerland the suspicious behaviors that provoke a criminal investigation allow the prosecutor to impose the costs even if the proceedings are archived. It’s 200,000 Swiss francs or 191.000 euros.
Bertossa tried to prove that the $ 100 million was a illicit commission paid for by the Saudi king Abdulazziz, already deceased, by the award of the AVE of the Desert, Mecca-Medina, in 2011 to the Spanish-Saudi consortium Al Shoula for 6,700 million euros. Because without a prior underlying crime, there is no money laundering or money laundering. The criminal type, both in Spain and in Switzerland, requires the prior offense for there to be money laundering.
The Swiss prosecutor considered, after making an entry and registration in the offices of Rhône Management, headquarters of a firm that has specialized in hiding large and medium-sized Spanish fortunes from the Treasury, and seeing the documents, bank statements and transfers, which were given all the elements of money laundering.
It was like a duck test: if it looks like a duck, swims like a duck, and squawks like a duck, then it’s probably a duck.
But he has failed to prove it. The linking of 100 million dollars with a commission for the AVE del Desierto is conspicuous by its absence. Perhaps, what has not been considered, is that the 100 million dollars pay for multiple services from Juan Carlos I to Saudi Arabia. But in criminal law, the proof is the proof. And Bertossa has not found her. But without his investigation, Juan Carlos I would continue to be elegantly dressed and well clothed. Nothing will stay the same for him.
And now that?
And Bertossa? Sources close to the prosecutor maintain that he is neither sad nor happy. He does his job. As a prosecutor, you have learned that over the years, whatever decision you make will always be criticized. Half of the people are happy and the other half criticize him. If there are convictions, people say it is unfair. When you file, the same thing happens. People say it’s wrong.
For Spain, Bertossa believes, it has been good to know what has happened regardless of whether it is a criminal offense or not. He always remembers, when you talk to him about Juan Carlos I as a taboo in Spain, who met Baltasar Garzón when the then judge was investigating the disappearance of opponents at the time of Franco. And he told him how they attacked him. You know, then, that at the institutional level, these issues are difficult to digest.
These sources assure that he thought a lot about the possibility of summon Juan Carlos I to testify. In one of the hearings, the prosecutor asked the lawyer for the king emeritus if he had asked him, precisely, if he had to go to Switzerland to testify. Dante Canonica, Juan Carlos I’s lawyer, replied that, although he was in contact, he had not asked him about this possibility.
But Bertossa thought about it. But he became convinced that it was a Spanish affair. By inviolability of Juan Carlos I at the time of payments? No. Bertossa knew that in Switzerland there is no diplomatic immunity for the emeritus.
Meeting with the Spanish prosecutor’s office
Bertossa raised the matter on October 29, 2019 in a meeting with the Chief Anticorruption Prosecutor, Alejandro Luzón, in Madrid, who objected to the possibility on the grounds of inviolability, and pointed out that, if the case arose, it would be the Spanish prosecutors. who should summon the emeritus. Bertossa thought that inviolability It can prevent the prosecution and conviction of the emeritus, but in no case summon him to testify.
Bertossa’s suspicions, in any case, related to the project of the AVE Mecca-Medina, to the conduct of companies. It was not clear if it was useful to summon him to testify. He thought about it, but didn’t. Perhaps so that he would not be accused of star judge who is looking for the spectacular?
The prosecutor, according to close sources with whom he usually comments privately on his impressions, believes that the investigation he filed on December 13 has been more important for Spain than for Switzerland. Spaniards have been able to access information about what happened in Switzerland.
Very detailed folder
The ‘ordonnance’ or resolution of the complete file of the investigation of the 100 million dollars details all the instruction, the hearings, the transfer of funds, the people who have declared, the account movements between Corinna and Juan Carlos, the movements of the foundation of the grove, with a lot of detail.
On Zagatka foundation, which has paid nine million euros for expenses in renting private jets used by Juan Carlos I, Bertossa considers that it was not in the objective of his investigation.
Instead, his team has gathered all the information because the Spanish prosecutors requested it. But that did not really concern, he thinks, the investigation in Geneva. It has not been the subject of the investigation on aggravated money laundering.
Bertossa found no indication that Zagatka had been used to acts of corruption o de money laundering related to the object of the investigation on the 100 million dollars and the AVE Mecca-Medina. And although in 2018 he ordered to block Zagatka’s account in the Swiss creditUpon seeing the documentation sent by the banks and noticing the inexistence of links with the Mecca-Medina AVE issue, it was decided to unblock it.
What remains for the emeritus
Although he thought about it, the prosecutor Bertossa did not send letter rogatory to Saudi Arabia –as the prosecutor did Luis Pastor, from the Anticorruption Prosecutor’s Office in 2020 – because I had no hope for an interesting answer about an investigation related to the king Abdulazziz. He usually says, when asked about Saudi Arabia, that he is optimistic in life but there are limits.
The prosecutor has to send the data requested by the Spanish prosecutor’s office to Switzerland about the accounts of Zagatka, especially those of the year 2015.
This slope. But what is not pending is the decision of the prosecutors to archive the investigations, which has already been adopted. And this despite the fact that the three investigations were notified to the lawyer of Juan Carlos I, Javier Sánchez-Junco, in June, November and December 2020, before ‘spontaneous’ regularizations of five million euros.
And the judge’s decision is also pending Matthew Nicklin on the immunity invoked by Juan Carlos I since Abu Dhabi Corinna’s civil lawsuit for harassment, unlawful pursuit and defamation before the High Court of England and Wales.