The Swiss government will have to respond in its Parliament to the legal request made by Catalan group Òmnium Cultural to block all funds of Spanish king emeritus Juan Carlos I which are suspected of having an illicit origin, Òmnium has reported on Tuesday.
The Bern executive's response will be given in writing at the next session of the Swiss Federal Assembly, after the Òmnium request was taken up by the Socialist deputy Christian Dandrès.
❗️❗️ La corrupció de Joan Carles I arriba al Parlament de Suïssa.— Òmnium Cultural (@omnium) September 22, 2020
El govern suís haurà de respondre en seu parlamentària a la petició d'@omnium perquè es bloquegin els fons del rei emèrit Joan Carles I sospitosos de tenir un origen il·lícit.#CoronaCiaohttps://t.co/EuY20aWZq1
"Juan Carlos I's corruption reaches the Swiss Parliament. The Swiss government will have to respond in parliament to @omnium's request to block the funds of Spanish king emeritus Juan Carlos I which are suspected of having an illicit origin" — Òmnium Cultural
Dandrès asked Switzerland's Federal Council for an official and parliamentary response to the situation of the ex-monarch, currently in the United Arab Emirates.
Dandrès' request was also adopted by 20 other members of the Socialist Party, as well as other parliamentarians from the Green Party and the Swiss Labour Party, including Pierre-Yves Maillard, Delphine Klopfenstein Broggini, Nicolas Walder and Denis de la Reusille.
Marcel Mauri, vice president of Òmnium Cultural celebrated that this is no longer just a matter being driven by the pro-independence group, but rather, is also now backed by three Swiss political parties "who consider it a priority to investigate Bourbon corruption". "Once again, it will be necessary to clarify in Europe what the powers of the Spanish state are trying to hide," he said.
"We have no doubt that both the Swiss judiciary and the government will fulfill their international commitments in the fight against corruption," he assured.
Blocking of funds
Specifically, Dandrès's questions to the house make explicit reference to the Catalan cultural entity's request to block the former Spanish king's funds by applying Swiss law itself. In fact, the Socialist group has gone further and asked the government if "the apparent inaction of the federal authorities" is compatible with "Switzerland's international commitments in the fight against corruption."
The Swiss parliamentarian also criticizes Spain's king emeritus for using opaque financial structures in Swiss banks to receive tens of millions of dollars of allegedly illicit origin while he was the Spanish head of state.
Finally, he asks "what measures the federal authorities have taken to determine the origin of these funds" given the recent departure of Juan Carlos from Spain to a country without an agreement on mutual assistance or extradition with Switzerland.
Two months without response
This news comes two and a half months after the cultural entity submitted a legal-technical report to the Swiss government to block the ex-monarch's accounts on a "preventative basis" during the investigation that the Swiss prosecution is carrying out for alleged money laundering of capital.
The three Swiss parties that have taken up the petition are helping Òmnium to put pressure on the country's government at a time when it is "especially concerned about fighting the image of suspected international money laundering through Swiss banks", explained international law expert Neus Torbisco.