Former kings does not happen: why did Spain protect Juan Carlos
The Royal house of Spain this week published a report on their expenditures for 2019 and the first quarter of this year, confirming that since mid-March, father of the current head of state, king Felipe VI, Juan Carlos, no longer receives its maintenance funds from the state budget.
The last payment stated in the explanation of the Royal house, he received 15 March, so they owed him the rest of 161 thousand euros will be spent for other purposes. Exactly on 15 March, the head of state, his son Felipe VI, has signed a decree Stripping his father handed him the throne in June 2014, payments from the state budget. In the same decree Felipe refused the inheritance.
The reason was the corruption scandal, where was involved the former head of state, who, despite retirement, still retains the title of king, though, as they say in Spain, "honor". In 2018 in the Spanish media published record of private conversation of his former mistress Corinna Larsen three years earlier in which she said that Juan Carlos used her as a figurehead for the registration of immovable property without her knowledge and that he had accounts in Swiss banks.
Left-wing party Podemos twice tried to create a parliamentary Commission of inquiry, and both times the Presidium of the Congress refused to do so on the basis that members of the Royal family are under the special protection of the Constitution and cannot be subjected to parliamentary control. The National court judge Diego de Agea not considered sufficient evidence to investigate the case.
However, in early March of this year, the Swiss newspaper Tribune de Genève reported that in 2018 a secret investigation on money laundering conducted by Prosecutor's office of Geneva. According to her, in 2008, account in a Swiss Bank Mirabaud Panamanian private Foundation Lucum, the beneficiary of which is Juan Carlos, received a $ 100 million - presumably from the Saudi Royal house. The Prosecutor suggests that the money could be related to c then just discussed the contract for the construction of high speed railway between Mecca and Medina. According to one version, it was gratitude for a "discount" which was made by a Spanish company, representing the application.
British newspaper the Telegraph found that king Felipe VI appears as the second beneficiary of the Fund Lucum. In March, the Royal house said that the President found out about that is the beneficiary of the Fund in the spring of 2019, after which the notary has declared, that refuses to do so, "if the information is true." However, the question arises: if Felipe found out that is a beneficiary of a year ago, why didn't you refuse the inheritance then? And if he's after information appeared in the media, refused all his father's money, so really suspects that their origin is impure?
A few days ago, the Telegraph published another article, which caused a new scandal. The journalist managed to find out that more than half of the cost of the honeymoon, then still crown Prince Felipe in 2004 (269 thousand dollars from 467 500) is paid by the company Navilot, owned by longtime friend Juan Carlos Catalan businessman Josep Kusi. Then the couple visited Cambodia, Mexico, Fiji, Samoa and the United States.
Why do such stories do not appear in the Spanish media, and foreign?
A Pact of silence about all the major actors of the transition period, it seems, given the major political parties - the Spanish socialist workers party (PSOE) and the people's right party. "And the ruling PSOE and the opposition people's party agree now only one - not to conduct an investigation in Congress in regard to the "honorary king" and not to conduct an investigation against (former Prime Minister of Spain, former leader of the PSOE, one of the main figures of the transition period) Felipe Gonzalez. This is despite the fact that the leaders of both parties, and Pedro Sanchez, and Pablo Heras-Casado - the young and the transition period into adulthood not surprised. For them to question the main parties of the transition period is taboo. I ask myself, to what time the PSOE, for example, will stand on similar positions?" - said the journalist.
The Podemos proposal on the establishment of the Commission for investigation against Juan Carlos in connection with Saudi money in the Congress of deputies had once again failed. Voted against including the coalition partners, the socialists. In a statement before the vote, the report of the lawyers of the Congress States that the inviolability of the monarch is valid for the whole period when he was head of state, and "has permanent legal effect".
The representative of the coalition Unidas Podemos Pablo Echenique called the immunity of a former head of state, "unacceptable" when talking about the actions that he did not as head of state, but as a private person. "Every time I need a more convoluted arguments in order to continue to protect the Royal house, placing it above the law," - said the politician.
At the same time, government spokesman, Finance Minister maría jesús Montero was not on last a press conference to announce the position of the Cabinet of Ministers about the "gift" Juan Carlos from the Catalan businessman on honeymoon son, offering to go to the Royal house. "We always say: it is obvious that the Royal house must answer some questions yourself," she said.
The theme of Saudi money in Spain is not yet closed. The investigation conducted by the Prosecutor's office of the Supreme court. However, it concerns only the period from 2014 - despite the fact that the money received on account in 2008 and the contract for the construction of the railway was signed in 2011. Everything that made Juan Carlos before his abdication, it falls under article 56.3 of the Constitution: "the Identity of the king is inviolable and shall not be held accountable".
"If any crime was committed after he had renounced the crown, he should be prosecuted like any other citizen. But if it turns out that it was committed during the reign, he is protected by immunity," - said the Professor of constitutional law at the University of Barcelona Javier Arbos.
However, he noticed that a number of jurists are of the opinion that it is necessary still to investigate the events leading up to June 2014, to install, participated or not any other persons in wrongdoing. "In this case, you would have to judge all, to establish the degree of responsibility of each, and if the king is found guilty, release him from punishment", - said Arbos.
Different opinion Professor of constitutional law at the University of Seville Victor Vazquez. "Juan Carlos could be responsible not only for the actions after the abdication, but also during the reign," because the immunity exists to "protect the institution, not the person", he said. Although Vazquez acknowledged that his position is shared by a minority of lawyers.
Judicial precedents say that Juan Carlos remains the most untouchable figure. So, two lawsuits about paternity, filed in the Supreme court in 2015 (from a citizen of Belgium Ingrid, Sarthe and Catalan Alberto Sola) were rejected. "It was not about any liability, but only about the installation of the fact whether a person is the father or not. These precedents demonstrate that the justice system treats the inviolability of the king is very well", - added Victor Vazquez.