13 May, 2022 @ 15:30
1 min read

Spain drops probe into whether kickbacks were paid to secure €7billion high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia

Saudi rail project Talgo 350 Sro
By FlyAkwa - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60610967

SPANISH prosecutors have shelved an investigation into whether Spanish firms paid kickbacks to secure a contract for Saudi Arabia’s high-speed rail link citing ‘insufficient evidence’.

Anti-corruption prosecutors were investigating the 2011 contract worth some €6.8billion to a consortium of Spanish firms to build a high-speed rail link between Mecca and Medina.

But in a ruling from Spain’s Prosecutor’s Office  made public on Thursday, they admitted ‘it had not been possible to determine the possible commission of the criminal offence’.

The ruling dated May 4 added that information was ‘clearly insufficient’, and was ‘in part contradictory’.

The probe was opened after allegations were made by the ex-mistress of the former King of Spain, Juan Carlos who claimed to have overheard discussions about kickbacks.

A separate probe into allegations that King Juan Carlos pocketed €65 million from the Saudi King for brokering the deal was dropped in March. 

They said they could find no link between the gift to the 84-year-old former monarch paid into a Swiss-based foundation that he was involved with and the contract award.

However, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, 56, still has legal proceedings against her former lover in the London courts over allegations that he harassed her and sent spies to follow her. She also claims he falsely accused her of stealing €65 million which she claimed was a gift.


Fiona Govan

Fiona Govan joined The Olive Press in March 2021. She moved to Spain in 2006 to be The Daily Telegraph’s Madrid correspondent and then worked for six years as Editor of The Local Spain. She lives in Madrid’s Malasaña district with her dog Rufus.

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