Spanish court dismisses paternity suit against former king Juan Carlos
On Wednesday, judges voted 7-3 to uphold the ageing monarch’s appeal against the paternity suit. Months before, the court had said it would consider the case after Ingrid Sartiau, who is in her late 40s, submitted comments that her mother, Liliane Sartiau, had made to a notary in Belgium in 2012.
The comments detailed a holiday Liliane had taken in the Costa del Sol in December 1965. She said she spent her time there with Juan Carlos, whom she described as “a dashing 31-year-old, very gentle, handsome and sweet with blue eyes”.
After spending three nights with him in a luxury hotel, she said the concierge of the hotel told her that the man she was with was “Prince Juan Carlos of Spain”. Her daughter, Ingrid Sartiau, was born in 1966 – about a year after the birth of Juan Carlos’s youngest daughter Cristina.
In their appeal, lawyers for Juan Carlos pointed out that the former king does not have blue eyes and would not have been 31 years old in 1965, nor would he have been the prince of Spain. They argued that the details provided of the encounter were vague, omitting the name of the hotel, dance club and concierge.
Sartiau’s lawyer Jaume Pararols shot back, accusing the former king’s defence team of attempting to distract from the issue at hand.
“The age of the participants in this sexual relationship and other details such as eye colour do not detract from the validity of the act”,- he told El Mundo last month.
Pararols noted that the appeal made no mention Sartiau’s request for a DNA test.
“To disprove the demand all he would have to do is submit to a DNA test”,- he said. The supreme court rejected several attempts by Sartiau to have the former king take a DNA test.
The paternity suit was the first legal challenge to be admitted against Juan Carlos, 77, who gave up full immunity from legal prosecution when he abdicated the throne in June. Special legislation was rushed through that protects him from lower courts, but he must still answer to the country’s supreme court.
Earlier this year, the supreme court dismissed a second paternity suit against the former king, filed by Alberto Sola Jimenez, citing a lack of evidence. Born in 1956 and adopted as a child, Sola Jimenez claims his biological mother had a relationship with Juan Carlos before he married Queen Sofia.