Justice in the United Kingdom denies Juan Carlos I immunity and opens the door to trial for sexual harassment of Corina Larsen | Spain

The British judiciary did not accept the arguments of the king’s attorney emeritus Juan Carlos I, and refuse to enjoy immunity from the harassment complaint filed by his former lover Corina Larsen. Justice Matthew Nicklin concludes that “none of the grounds for defending the existence of state immunity have been substantiated, and therefore, the lawsuit must continue.”

During two intense preparatory sessions, at the end of 2021, the king’s lawyers emeritus tried to persuade the judge to do so, due to his dual status as “Sovereign” [emérito] And a member of the royal family, Juan Carlos I still have immunity. I have stuck to the State Immunity Act of 1978 (State immunity law), designed for diplomatic representatives of foreign countries, but extends its protection to heads of state. Article 20 of it states that “the sovereign or the other head of state” and “members of his family who are part of his family” enjoy the immunity guaranteed by law. [household, en el original en inglés]If the attorney Daniel Bethlehem, representing the honorary king, argued that his client retained the degree of “sovereign” and thus enjoyed immunity, the attorney who acted on Larsen’s behalf, James Lewis, excluded this interpretation: “No one understands that Juan kept Carlos The first is the position of head of state after his abdication from the throne. It is an honorary title, like the title held by previous presidents of the United States.

Judge Nicklin defended this last reasoning in his sentence, dismissing the continuation of immunity: “If he accepts this argument, tomorrow the defendant can enter the Hatton Garden jewelry store and steal a diamond ring. He should not face any criminal or civil action in this jurisdiction (what The Spanish state has not lifted that immunity),” the judge explained.

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“I would feel more comfortable if the Spanish state could confirm that Juan Carlos I was still a member of the royal family. The judge repeatedly said during the first two hearings that the supposed immunity of the honorary king was discussed, I don’t want to get into an area of ​​Spanish constitutional law that I don’t feel comfortable with. He even suggested a way to obtain this assurance: that it would be the British Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, who would use appropriate diplomatic channels to obtain this data.” The Spanish State has made no claim or allegation as to the immunity which the accused asserts he still enjoys out. Nor was any State Department testimony brought to this chamber, as provided by Section 21 of the State Immunity Act, Nicklin noted in his decision. Which confirms that the matter is part of the private sphere. “The accused is neither a sovereign nor the Head of State of Spain. He concluded that since his abdication, he had no right to personal immunity.

At the end of December 2020, the ex-mistress of Juan Carlos I in her demand for compensation for the inconveniences she had always suffered, according to her version, recounted directly from the emperor king or from persons acting on his behalf, like the former. CNI Director, Felix Sanz Roldan. With the intent to recover nearly 65 million euros that were “irrevocably” transferred to her in 2012, or to resume a romantic relationship, according to Larsen, the businesswoman in a wide-ranging lawsuit recounts the alleged threats, electronic surveillance and surveillance that she and her team were subjected to. from her advisors, as well as the numerous defamations she was subjected to. The result of all this, according to his writing, is anxiety and pain that require medical treatment; Relationships with their children and relatives deteriorate, and many of their multi-million dollar clients are lost.

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The judge has not yet entered into an assessment of the reasonableness of all the charges in his indictment by Larsen. Indeed, at the time the attorney for the emeritus’ former lover had already warned that he had “noted a very scattered account in the indictment, with so much narration and so little evidence.” In its preliminary ruling on Tuesday, Nicklin noted that “common ground accepted by the parties, for the sole purpose of discussing the question of immunity, this court presumes that what was described in the indictment is true. But at this point, there is no evidence to establish the detailed facts and no open an investigation.

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Thursday’s ruling shows that the accused cannot hide behind his position, power or privileges to avoid this lawsuit. Juan Carlos de Bourbon y Bourbon must now be held accountable in court for his conduct as a private individual. This is the first step on the road to justice. “The shocking facts of this case will finally be brought to court,” said Robin Rathmel of the law firm Cobre & Kim, who is representing Larsen. Sources from the same office have made it clear to EL PAÍS that they are awaiting a new hearing, for which the judge has not yet set a date, when it will be decided whether other preliminary questions should be resolved, such as whether the English judiciary is or if the Protection Against Harassment Act 1997 applies, or if the trial itself is in progress.

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