Former Spanish King Juan Carlos could face charges in Britain in a harassment case brought against him by his former lover after the English Supreme Court ruled on Thursday that he is not entitled to sovereign immunity.
Danish Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein Sayn, who lives in Britain and has testified that she was in a romantic relationship with the former monarch and received financial information and documents from him, claimed she was harassed several times between 2012 and 2020.
“If the case moves forward, the defendant will have the opportunity to defend himself against the allegations brought against him and eventually the court will hear evidence and make a decision after a trial,” the ruling read.
Juan Carlos’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment, while the Royal Palace declined to comment. The former king has previously denied the charges, as the court has acknowledged.
“It is correct to note in this judgment that the defendant denies in the strongest terms what he calls ‘baseless allegations’ made against him by the plaintiff and any alleged wrongdoing by the Spanish state,” the ruling read.
It was not immediately clear whether Sayn-Wittgenstein would seek a trial and, if so, whether it would be a criminal or civil suit.
Spanish and Swiss prosecutors recently dropped a series of investigations into alleged fraud by 84-year-old Juan Carlos, who left Spain for the United Arab Emirates in August 2020 amid a cloud of scandal and has lived there ever since.
Spain’s national prosecutor’s office said Juan Carlos’ constitutional immunity as monarch would have protected him, even if they could prove he had misconducted in the fraud cases.
Formerly respected Juan Carlos, who was forced to resign in 2014 after a string of scandals, including his affair with Sayn-Wittgenstein, is now being seen as a liability to his son, King Felipe.
Despite the immunity in Spain, the British judge, Justice Nicklin, found that there were no grounds for state immunity in the harassment case as it was unrelated to governmental or sovereign activities, opening the door to a trial.
According to the court’s ruling, the complaint of harassment has not been investigated.
“Today’s ruling demonstrates that this defendant cannot hide behind position, power or privilege to evade this claim,” said Robin Rathmell, Sayn-Wittgenstein’s attorney in a statement.
“This is the first step towards justice.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by DailyExpertNews staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)