On February 25, 2021, the prosecutor louis shepherd Send to Saudi Arabia a rogatory commission (request for international judicial cooperation) to identify the payment of two commissions (120 and 100 million euros in round figures, respectively) in the award project for the work of the train AVE of the Desert Medina-Mecca, whose processing began in 2006. Pastor knew that he could not wait, given that one of the Spanish ambassadors in Riyadh whom he had summoned in his proceedings was blunt: “Saudi Arabia and North Korea are the two countries that least They collaborate with justice, the darkest in the world & rdquor ;. As he saw that there was no answer, he insisted through the Ministry of Justice to find out the status of the process. On August 4, 2021, the request was reiterated. And finally, on April 4, the answer came.

A year and a little over a month to answer with a paragraph: nothing.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Anti-Corruption and Control Authority would like to inform that, after investigation, it has not found suspicious activity transactions between the Spanish companies and Al Shoula Establishments Group or EPIC Arabia Project Development Company”.

The commission puzzle

Pastor verified what the Swiss prosecutor already Yves Bertosawho began the investigations in Geneva in August 2018, told EL PERIÓDICO, when this chronicler asked him on December 13, 2021 if he had not in turn sent a request for help to Riyadh about the commission of 100 million dollars (64.8 million euros) which, as he suspected, covered up the transfer ordered by Saudi King Abdullaziz on August 8, 2008 to the Swiss account of John Charles Ithen king of Spain and head of state.

“I am naturally optimistic. But I don’t get as much as I ask legal aid to Saudi Arabia & rdquor ;, he laughed.

Prosecutor Pastor traces the history of the draft award of the AVE and the puzzle of commissions paid.

In 2006, “the Saudi Railways Organization (SRO) opens the tender for the construction, with public financing, of a high-speed railway line between the cities of Mecca and Medina, called Haramain High Speed ​​Railway”.

The King’s letter

Look where, on March 13, 2006, John Charles I sent a letter from the Palacio de la Zarzuela to the first deputy minister (2005-2011) and defense minister, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia Sultan bin Abdullazziz Al Saud, called sultan the goodin which he announced his official visit between April 8 and 10, 2006.

Text of the file decree of the prosecutor's investigation on the AVE to Mecca

Text of the file decree of the prosecutor’s investigation on the AVE to Mecca

As he said, he would be “accompanied by an” important delegation from Spain and we will focus on improving our political and economic relationship. I look forward to seeing His Royal Highness in order to consider certain details that would undoubtedly promote a closer relationship between our respective countries…”

And he added: “I am sending this letter with a trusted person, Mrs. Shaphari Zanganeh, to privately coordinate the possibility of said meeting & rdquor ;. She was the then wife, until 2014, of the famous arms dealer and frequent visitor when Marbella was a party for the millionaire dignitaries of the Middle East.

Namely: Adnan Khashoggi.

Visit with Corinne

The official visit took place in full courtship between John Charles I Y Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. And her lover traveled in the Airbus A-310 of the Spanish Air Force in the seats reserved for members of the Government, and, of course, for Queen Sofía.

Corinna participated in an advisory capacity in the operation. In a statement after the visit made by Juan Carlos I and Corinna to the Saudi International Investment Agency (SAGIA) -while Queen Sofía was visiting the Prince Sultan Abdulaziz Hospital- noted: “Princess Corinna accompanied the King and a Spanish delegation to Saudi Arabia on a state visit as the delegation’s strategic adviser”.

For its part, Shaphari Zanganeh traveled by private plane at the invitation of Juan Miguel Villar Mirthe strong man of the OHL construction company, a pillar of the Saudi project.

Commissioners’ arguments

The two commission agents that prosecutor Pastor identifies in his file report are Shaphari Zanganehthrough his consulting company Epic (97.5 million euros, although he only received part of it and another part is in litigation), and Mishaal bin Abdulazizz Al Saud (120 million euros), member of the royal family, one of the most powerful men in the Saudi kingdom and founder of the Al-Shoula Group, the great investor in real estate developments in the Middle East.

Shaphari Zanganeh justified his commission, compromised above all by Villar Mir on behalf of Spanish companies, for their work as intermediaries, advice and contacts.

But then why did he need the cover letter? John Charles I on March 13, 2006 to arrange an appointment with the deputy prime minister of Saudi Arabia?

For its part, Mishaal bin Abdulazizz Al Saud charged the “usual” commission & rdquor; toll to enter Saudi Arabia.

And the third commissioner?

The payment of the 100 million dollars – the commissions are always around this amount – to the account of the lucum foundation created by Juan Carlos I in July 2008, its purpose was to receive that money on August 8 of that year.

White and bottle.

The conclusions

In his report, Pastor points out that when Corinna was questioned in London in 2019, the witness “stated that the former head of state said in her presence that €50 million of the commissions paid for the adjudication of the AVE Medina-La Meca were for him, although he could not guarantee that he had actually received such an amount. Regarding Zanganeh’s intervention, he said that he met with her on several occasions in Madrid and in Saudi Arabiawho told him that she was linked to OHL since 2006, who was a successful businesswoman in a very difficult region and who earned between 80 and 100 million euros for his participation in the AVE project to Mecca, a circumstance that he knew because the king emeritus told him and that it was a payment made by the winning consortium of the tender & rdquor ;.

Pastor leaves, at the end of his writing, evidence of his disbelief.

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“It is hidden from no one that these contracts, calculatedly ambiguous and remunerated for amounts significantly higher than the value of any legitimate service that the intermediary can provide, usually allow the payment to be channeled to the authorities or officials involved in the award, in such a way that the intermediary keeps for himself a part of the payment and transfers to the local authority the gift agreed for having won the contract & rdquor ;.

However, it concludes “that the elements available after this investigation are clearly insufficientwithout incriminating univocity, lacking the necessary connection to each otherpartly contradictory, and which, therefore, do not allow the construction, even provisionally, of a incriminating thesis“.


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