LAWYERS acting for Emeritus King, Juan Carlos, say they are going to the Court of Appeal over a key immunity ruling made last week.
Justice Matthew Nicklin decided in London’s High Court last Thursday that the ex-monarch was not free from immunity in regard to a civil damages claim brought by ex-lover Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, 58.
It means that Juan Carlos, 84, now living in Abu Dhabi, might be forced to give evidence in the case.
His barrister, Daniel Bethlehem, asked Justice Nicklin on Tuesday to review his immunity decision on the basis that Juan Carlos was still a senior member of the Spanish Royal Family.
Mr Justice Nicklin rejected the argument that, despite his abdication, Juan Carlos remains a ‘sovereign’ and is entitled to personal immunity under the State Immunity Act 1978.
The Juan Carlos legal team are now filing papers with the Court of Appeal, which normally takes a considerable period of convene, let alone pronounce on a ruling.
The next hearing in the High Court civil case is scheduled for July 1.
“There is only one king of Spain and head of state of Spain and, since June 19 2014, that has been his son, King Felipe VI,” Justice Nicklin explained.
“Whatever his special constitutional position following abdication, [Juan Carlos] is neither the sovereign nor the head of state of Spain,” he added
The judge also said Juan Carlos is not a member of the current king’s household within the meaning of the State Immunity Act of 1978.
He said his position under the Spanish constitution is ‘entirely honorary’ and provides him ‘no continuing role’.
Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein is suing Juan Carlos for being put under surveillance by Spain’s intelligence service in London since 2012, after she allegedly rebuffed a marriage request from him.
It’s not known what financial amount she is seeking but she is pursuing a ban on the ex-king making any contact with her; an end to harassment; and a 250 metre distancing order from any of her homes.
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