Spain's King Juan Carlos followed by Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein.
Charges have been brought against a close friend of Spain’s King Juan Carlos, the German princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, accusing her of usurping public functions after allegedly acting as “representative” and “advisor” to the king on several occasions. A formal complaint was brought to the courts in Madrid on Friday.
According to the Royal House, the king can “only be represented by himself.” They chose not to answer questions, however, on why the German princess had appeared as “representative” of the head of state on some occasions and his “strategic advisor” and “ambassador” on other, thus assuming a role of advisor to the crown that has never been officially recognized.
The complaint was made by Susana Cano, the mother of a young model who accused the Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of rape in Ibiza four years ago. The case against Bin Talal, a friend of King Juan Carlos and Sayn-Wittgenstein, was closed by the Court in Palma and the king himself sent a letter to congratulate Bin Talal about the court’s decision.
Bin Talal received Sayn-Wittgenstein in Riad, the Saudi capital, on at least on two occasions in the capacity of “representative for His Majesty King Juan Carlos of Spain.”
Up to three years in prision
The complaint was presented to the Court of Madrid on Friday. It accused Sayn-Wittgenstein of “illegitimately exercising acts reserved to an authority or public official" that would attribute her a role of public character, a crime that can lead to up to 3 years in prison.
Cano’s lawyer, Maximino Turiel, argued that Sayn-Wittgenstein seemed to have exercised in a role that is reserved to the authorities and public officers, including organizing the king’s agenda during official visits, traveling in Spanish military airplanes, negotiating in the name of the king and passing as an authority of a rank to be received according to the formal Arab protocol.
The lawyer included media reports in the complaint, including reports from El Confidencial. One of them referred to the trip by the head of state and the German princess to Kuwait and the Arab Emirates in November, where the king assisted during the Formula 1 Grand Prix in Abu Dhabi. Sayn-Wittgenstein was received by the authorities together with the king and assisted in dinners with the first ladies of other heads of state invited to the event, including the presidents of Rwanda, Gabon and Chechenya.
The close friendship between Sayn-Wittgenstein and King Juan Carlos has received much media attention since the king’s widely criticized elephant-hunting trip to Botswana in April, in which Sayn-Wittgenstein participated and which made their friendship known to the public.
This article was translated and edited by Stina Lunden.
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