UK court mulls ex-Spanish king’s immunity status in harassment case
London, Dec 7 (EFE).- The question of sovereign immunity took center stage at the high court in London Tuesday during a hearing into allegations that the former Spanish king Juan Carlos I directed a harassment campaign against his ex-lover, Danish businesswoman Corinna Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein.
It will be a deciding factor in whether judge Matthew Nicklin allows the civil case to go ahead.
Sayn-Wittgenstein’s lawyers on Tuesday argued that Juan Carlos was no longer a “head of state” because he had abdicated in 2014 and that the only member of the Spanish royal family who would be afforded with sovereign immunity was his son, King Felipe VI.
The team added that he was financially independent, lived apart from the Spanish royal household and that his royal title in Spain — King Emeritus — was honorary.
Juan Carlos has lived in self-exile in Abu Dhabi since August 2020 after allegations he was involved in improper business dealings in Saudi Arabia began to emerge.
The former monarch’s legal team argued on Monday that Juan Carlos still benefited from sovereign immunity.
Sayn-Wittgenstein claims Juan Carlos began the harassment campaign in 2012 and that the former king had used Spain’s national intelligence center (CNI) to threaten her.
The Danish businesswoman alleges the campaign was designed to get her to return gifts, including jewelry, artwork and 65 million euros ($76M) in cash that she said Juan Carlos had given her. EFE