A high-profile litigation seeking 145m euros (£126m), initiated by a former romantic partner of the ex-King of Spain, was recently dismissed by a court in London. The litigant, Danish entrepreneur Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, lodged an accusation that Juan Carlos had orchestrated a series of aggressive acts against her subsequent to the dissolution of their romantic entanglement in 2012.
Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, a British national, made claims of intimidation, inclusive of espionage and unlawful entries, allegedly precipitated by her refusal to return gifts of multimillion-pound worth received from the ex-king. Carlos forcefully denied these claims.
A judgement passed previous week deemed the High Court of England and Wales to possess no jurisdictional rights over the matter, while refraining from passing any judgements on the merit of the allegations. Judge Rowena Collins Rice went on to opine that the plaintiff had not provided substantial proof that the said ‘harmful event’ – the harassment she accuses Carlos of – transpired in England.
A representative of the octogenarian ex-monarch deemed the judgement as anticipated vindication, indicating it paved the way for Carlos’s subsequent public appearances.
Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn, who pursued legal recourse in 2020, expressed strong disillusionment with the judgement. She termed it indicative of the plight of harassment victims grappling with the judicial system seeking justice.
Prior to this judgement, last December saw UK judicial authorities rule out the possibility of suing the ex-sovereign over alleged acts committed during his reign, citing sovereign immunity. Following the termination of their relationship, post an infamous elephant hunting expedition to Botswana in 2012, Sayn-Wittgenstein-Sayn claimed that Carlos insisted on her returning gifts amounting to 65m euros.
The controversial hunting trip, where Carlos sustained injuries necessitating an abrupt return home, triggered national outrage amidst an economic crisis and peak unemployment rates in Spain.
Notwithstanding his pivotal role in steering Spain’s transition from dictatorship to democracy in 1975, a plethora of scandals involving his kin led Carlos to renounce the throne in 2014. The scandals also involved a corruption investigation pertaining to his son-in-law, Inaki Urdangarin, who was subsequently imprisoned.
The ex-monarch has mostly resided in the United Arab Emirates since 2020, after departing Spain in the wake of fraud allegations which were eventually dismissed due to lack of proof. A Swiss probe into a substantial payment from Saudi Arabia was also terminated, citing insufficient evidence.