WorldKing Juan Carlos I claims immunity in England from...

King Juan Carlos I claims immunity in England from accusation of harassment by his ex-lover Corinna Larsen


A lawyer for the king emeritus Juan Carlos I He defended on Monday before the courts of England that he has immunity as a “member of the Spanish royal family”, seeking to evade a lawsuit for harassment of his ex-lover Corinna Larsen, also known as Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein.

Daniel Bethlehem argued in a London civil court that, under the British State Immunity Act 1978, Juan Carlos cannot be tried by the English courts and that any accusation against him must be presented before the Spanish courts.

SIGHT: Former lover of King Juan Carlos I wanted to leave him part of his offshore fortune, according to the Pandora Papers

“This does not place his majesty above the law, but only recognizes that, given his constitutional position, he is subject to the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court of Spain, and only the Supreme Court of Spain”said the lawyer before Magistrate Matthew Nicklin of the London High Court.

And alleged the “Public interest in protecting the dignity of the sovereign and the closest members of the royal family.”

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Juan Carlos I, 83, abdicated in 2014 in favor of his son Felipe VI, following a series of scandals that began in 2012 with an elephant hunt in Botswana, where he traveled accompanied by Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, a Danish businesswoman divorced from a German prince whose surname she retained, although she is also known by her maiden name, Corinna Larsen.

Subsequent revelations by this former mistress of alleged embezzlement by Juan Carlos They ended up taking the King Emeritus into exile in August 2020 to the United Arab Emirates.

There he has lived since then, away from Spanish political life and stripped after his abdication of the immunity that protected him since he was appointed head of state in 1975, after the death of the dictator Francisco Franco who had appointed him as his successor.

For decades internationally praised and respected nationally for having brought democracy to Spain, in recent years Juan Carlos has been jumping from scandal to scandal and becoming a growing target of justice.

The controversial king emeritus Juan Carlos I. (Reuters). (Francois Lenoir /)

“Threats”, “raids” and “espionage”

Now the one who claims to have been her lover between 2004 and 2009, but until 2014 according to some royal observers, tries to file a civil lawsuit against him in the UK, where she has two residences.

In court documents, he explains having maintained a close friendship with the former monarch for a time after his breakup, when he gave him “works of art, jewelry and financial gifts,” including payments worth around 65 million euros ($ 73 million) in June 2012.

But add that

“He demanded the return of the gifts”, was “threatening” and “subsequently carried out or organized a series of covert and overt surveillance acts, causing anguish and anxiety” in his former lover, according to the lawsuit, not yet accepted in England.

The documents denounce that during a meeting at the Connaught Hotel in London on May 5, 2012, an “agent or associate” of the ex-king was “threatening” towards her and her children.

And they assure that the meeting coincided “with the search of their apartments in Monaco and Villars, in Switzerland, where a book about the death of Princess Diana was left on a table.”

According to the same source, the night he discovered the book Corinna received a mysterious call from “an unknown person” who spoke Spanish.

The businesswoman also denounces “illegal entry and criminal damage, such as the drilling of a hole in her bedroom window while she slept at night at her home in Shropshire”, in the north-west of England, on June 21, 2017, and shooting to the security cameras of your entrance on April 14, 2020.

After reporting these attacks to the police, Corinna now claims Juan Carlos “personal injury” for the “great mental pain, alarm, anxiety, anguish” that he claims to have suffered.

His lawyer, Jonathan Caplan, argued that the emeritus king lost his immunity in England by relinquishing his sovereign status when he abdicated.

For its part, Juan Carlos I “He rejects the accusations made against him and denies in the strongest terms any alleged infringement by the Spanish State,” said Bethlehem.

The immunity hearing will last until Tuesday, but Judge Nicklin is not expected to issue a decision immediately.



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