Human Interest

UK court: No immunity for ex-Spain king, harassment case can proceed

London, Mar 24 (EFE).- The former Spanish king Juan Carlos I is not protected by royal immunity in English jurisdiction and a harassment lawsuit filed by his former lover Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein can proceed, the British High Court ruled Thursday.

“My decision is that none of the grounds on which state immunity was claimed have been made out. The claim will therefore continue,” presiding judge Matthew Nicklin said in the ruling.

The arguments regarding the former monarch’s immunity status were heard by the court in December.

The lawyers defending Juan Carlos, father of Spain’s current king Felipe VI, claimed he was protected by royal immunity given that the allegations against him took place when he was king.

However, zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn’s legal team argued that the former king relinquished his royal protection when he abdicated in 2014.

In 2020, zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, born Larsen, sued the former monarch for harassment, claiming she had been surveilled and threatened after their relationship ended.

She has previously stated that it was linked to a 65-million-euro “gift” she had received from the former king in 2012.

Juan Carlos abdicated in favor of his son after he became embroiled in a corruption scandal while Spain was weathering a harsh financial crisis.

In 2020, the ex-king went into self-imposed exile in Abu Dhabi.

Earlier this month, Spanish supreme court prosecutors archived a three-pronged probe into his finances.

The ex-monarch was under investigation for allegations that he accepted illegal kick-backs worth 65 million euros ($100 million) related to a high-speed rail project in Saudi Arabia, as well as for claims he used credit cards linked to foreign accounts not registered in his name and for his alleged murky links to offshore funds.

The decision by the prosecution paved the way for the 84-year-old to return to Spain.EFE


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