The former lover of the King Emeritus of Spain, Juan Carlos, testified that his life was threatened by a former spy chief on the orders of the exiled monarch himself in a conversation that “terrified” her.
Friday’s explosive testimony from German-born business consultant Corinna Larsen emerged during the trial of a notorious retired police chief suspected of large-scale corruption whose revelations rocked the Spanish elite.
But his allegations were denied by General Felix Sanz Roldan, who was head of the CNI’s intelligence services in Spain between 2009 and 2019.
Speaking to a Madrid court by video conference from London, Larsen – who also uses the surname zu Sayn-Wittgenstein – said she was directly threatened in May 2012 by Sanz Roldan.
And she testified that the orders ultimately came from the then monarch, Juan Carlos I.
During her affair with the king, which she said ended in 2012, two years before her abdication, Larsen said she received sensitive documents about the “financial and trade relations” of the king and the royal household, that the security services wanted to get their hands on. of.
Testifying in court, she said Sanz Roldan had contacted her on several occasions to make her understand that until she handed over the documents, she would not be safe, threatening her and her children during the a meeting at the Connaught Hotel in London on May 5, 2012.
She said he made various recommendations “which were in fact orders” that he advised her to follow.
“He said if I didn’t follow them he couldn’t guarantee my physical safety or the physical safety of my children,” she told the court, saying his words “terrified me”.
But Sanz Roldan categorically denied the allegations, later telling the court that he “never threatened a woman or a child.”
“Same fate as Lady Di?”
Larsen said the meeting was “arranged at the express request” of the king himself.
“King Juan Carlos and General Sanz Roldan have always taken great care to explain that the King ordered the General to carry out these operations, so it is an important fact to note that these instructions came from the top.
Later that day she flew to Switzerland and, upon entering the family apartment in the Alps, found a book about Lady Diana’s death in 1997 in a high-speed car crash in a tunnel Parisian.
Several hours later, that night, she said she received an anonymous call in Spanish saying: “There are many tunnels between Monaco and Nice.” Larsen has lived in Monaco in the past.
“It highlighted the reality of the threats and the danger I found myself in.”
Asked by the prosecution why she had not come forward before, Larsen said she feared for her own safety given that Sanz Roldan and the King were granted diplomatic immunity.
“Denouncing General Sanz Roldan, who is Secretary of State and enjoys full immunity, I should have denounced the King of Spain himself as the person giving these orders and he was covered by immunity” , she said.
“We didn’t think the London police could really help or protect me.”
“Why threaten her?
Larsen testified at the trial of former police chief Jose Manuel Villarejo, accused of making a false allegation and slander for allegedly that Sanz Roldan “threatened to kill” Larsen in an interview published in June 2017.
Larsen met Villarejo at her home in London in April 2015, where she told him about the threats in a conversation he recorded without her knowledge or consent.
He said he met her on the orders of the CNI, posing as a lawyer who could help him in order to get her to hand over the documents to him.
Despite his work with the agency, his relationship with Sanz Roldan deteriorated significantly over the following years and in June 2017, Villarejo disclosed details of the threat in a TV interview.
Five months later, he was arrested.
Villarejo has met Larsen “several times”, with a recording of such a meeting triggering a huge investigation into the finances of the 83-year-old former king, one in a series of corruption allegations.
Juan Carlos fled into voluntary exile in the United Arab Emirates in August, claiming at the time that he did not want his personal affairs to undermine the reign of his son King Felipe VI.