Spain: Prosecutors shelve fraud probes haunting former king

Mar 2, 2022, 10:12 AM | Updated: 1:25 pm

MADRID (AP) — Spanish prosecutors are shelving two investigations into alleged financial wrongdoing in Juan Carlos I’s business dealings that prompted the former monarch to move from Spain to Abu Dhabi.

Prosecutors in the Spanish Supreme Court said Wednesday they didn’t find evidence that could be prosecuted, because the monarch was protected by immunity until his abdication eight years ago and because any possible fraud fell out of the statute of limitations.

The probes allowed the recovery of 5.1 million euros ($5.6 million) in fines and taxes for income that Juan Carlos had failed to declare to Spain’s tax authorities, the prosecutors said in their conclusions.

One of the probes involved offshore accounts in Jersey, a tax haven, that prosecutors said couldn’t currently be linked to the 84-year-old Juan Carlos.

The other one centered around a 65-million-euro ($72-million) payment that was suspected to be a commission for the former monarch’s mediation in a high-speed railway contract between the Saudi Arabian cities of Medina and Mecca. Prosecutors said they couldn’t find a link between the “gift” given to Juan Carlos and the project, which was executed by a Spanish consortium.

A Swiss probe on money laundering involving some of the funds was also dropped last year, although Geneva prosecutors fined a Swiss bank for failing to alert authorities on Juan Carlos’ transactions.

In a statement, the former king’s lawyer said that prosecutors had cleared the former king from “any illicit conduct susceptible to criminal reproach.”

Juan Carlos, who retains the title of “King Emerit,” moved to the United Arab Emirates in mid-2020 after the judicial probes on his possible financial wrongdoings emerged.

Spanish media have reported Juan Carlos’ interest in returning home, but the issue is highly divisive in Spain. Some say the former king’s role in steering the country from dictatorship to democracy in the late 1970s and early 1980s trumps his sins, while a growing number have used the probes to demand more accountability for members of the royal family — or even to open a debate on the future of Spain’s monarchy.

Juan Carlos abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI in 2014 following a series of scandals in the royal family. Since becoming king, Felipe has tried to distance himself from his father, removing the former monarch from the royal house’s payroll as he tries to rebuild the Spanish crown’s image.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Associated Press

2nd trial set for Aug. 9 for 2 men charged in Whitmer plot

DETROIT (AP) — A judge on Thursday set Aug. 9 for a second trial for two men charged with plotting to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. A jury in April acquitted two other men but couldn’t reach a unanimous verdict for Adam Fox and Barry Croft Jr. They were described as leaders of a wild […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

Canada official warns of possible COVID resurgence ahead

OTTAWA (AP) — Canada’s chief public health officer is warning of a possible COVID-19 resurgence in the fall and winter. Theresa Tam said Thursday the circulating omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5 are even more transmissible and able to evade immunity than previous versions, making a rise in cases likely in coming weeks. Tam and federal […]
13 hours ago
FILE - This undated booking photo provided by the Dallas County Sheriff's Office shows Henry “Mic...
Associated Press

Man who sold pistol to hostage-taker in Texas pleads guilty

DALLAS (AP) — A man who sold a pistol to a man who used it to hold four hostages inside a Texas synagogue before being fatally shot by the FBI early this year pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal gun crime, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Henry “Michael” Dwight Williams, 32, pleaded guilty to […]
13 hours ago
FILE - This undated booking photo provided by the Dallas County Sheriff's Office shows Henry “Mic...
Associated Press

Man who sold pistol to hostage-taker in Texas pleads guilty

DALLAS (AP) — A man who sold a pistol to a man who used it to hold four hostages inside a Texas synagogue before being fatally shot by the FBI early this year pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal gun crime, the U.S. Department of Justice said. Henry “Michael” Dwight Williams, 32, pleaded guilty to […]
13 hours ago
FILE - Hells Angels founder Ralph "Sonny" Barger and his wife Sharon are shown after his release on...
Associated Press

Sonny Barger, figurehead of Hells Angels, dies at 83

LIVERMORE, Calif. (AP) — Sonny Barger, the leather-clad figurehead of the notorious Hells Angels motorcycle club, has died. He was 83. Barger’s death was announced on his Facebook page late Wednesday. “If you are reading this message, you’ll know that I’m gone. I’ve asked that this note be posted immediately after my passing,” a posting […]
13 hours ago
Associated Press

2nd visitor in 3 days gored by Yellowstone park bison

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — For the second time in three days, a visitor to Yellowstone National Park was gored by a bison, park officials said Thursday. A 71-year-old woman from West Chester, Pennsylvania and her daughter inadvertently approached the bison Wednesday as they were returning to their vehicle at a Yellowstone Lake trailhead. […]
13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
...
Arizona Division of Problem Gambling

Arizona Division of Problem Gambling provides exclusion solution for young sports bettors

Sports betting in Arizona opened a new world to young adults, one where putting down money on games was as easy as sending a text message.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Spain: Prosecutors shelve fraud probes haunting former king