One of the foundations under investigation, Zagatka, was registered in Liechtenstein and established by Álvaro de Orleans-Borbón, a cousin of Juan Carlos. Prosecutors are trying to determine how the foundation came to accumulate its considerable wealth and why it transferred money between undeclared bank accounts.
The other foundation, Lucum, based in Panama, received $ 100 million from Saudi Arabia. Prosecutors are now trying to determine whether that money was somehow tied to the award of a contract that Spanish companies won to build a high-speed rail link between the Saudi cities of Medina and Mecca.
As part of the investigation into a Swiss private bank account held by Lucum, a Geneva prosecutor, Yves Bertossa, interviewed a lawyer and a fund manager with links to Juan Carlos, as well as a former partner, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. King Juan Carlos himself was not investigated in Switzerland, but his son, King Felipe, severed ties with Lucum after discovering that he had been designated as a beneficiary of the fund.
Spain then launched its own investigation, in part based on information shared by the Swiss prosecutor on the large payment made by Saudi Arabia to Lucum.
It’s unclear what the ex-monarch’s departure will mean for his legal issues. Juan Carlos’ chances of appearing in court in Madrid were slim as he continues to enjoy legal immunity.