Spain's former king to leave the country amid corruption claims

Elias Hubbard
August 4, 2020

"Guided by the conviction to lend my best services to all Spaniards, their institutions and you, as King, I communicate my decision to move, in these moments, away from Spain", read the former king's letter.

In the letter, Juan Carlos said he made the decision against the backdrop of "public repercussions of certain episodes of my past private life".

He says he wants to ensure he doesn't make his son's role hard, adding "my legacy and my own dignity, demand that it should be so".

Spain's Supreme Court has said it aims to establish Juan Carlos's connection with the Saudi Arabia contract after his abdication. Speculation over the whereabouts of former monarch Juan Carlos is gripping Spain, a day after he announced he was leaving the country for an unspecified destination amid a growing financial scandal.

Spain's Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez recently said he found the developments about Juan Carlos - including investigations in Spain and Switzerland - "disturbing".

Speculation over the whereabouts and future of former monarch Juan Carlos gripped Spain on Tuesday, a day after the man who served as king for nearly four decades announced he was leaving the country for an unspecified destination amid a growing financial scandal.

The reports accused Juan Carlos of then transferring a large amount to Corinna Larsen, a Danish-German businesswoman and former companion, in what investigators are considering as a possible attempt to hide the money from authorities. Spanish prosecutors have asked her to provide testimony in the case in September in Madrid.

He came to the throne in 1975 after the death of General Francisco Franco and was widely respected for his role in helping guide Spain from dictatorship to democracy, but recent scandals have tarnished his image.

The royal palace announced on Monday that Juan Carlos, who abdicated in 2014 over a previous scandal, was leaving so that his personal affairs would not affect his son Felipe's reign.

She claimed he had received a commission when a consortium of Spanish companies were awarded a high-speed railway contract to link the Muslim holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

In addition, King Felipe also renounced any future inheritance from his father. His son, King Felipe, took over and has since set about trying to fix the reputation of the monarchy that was damaged by claims made against his father.

He also reaffirmed "the principles and values on which it (democracy) is based according to our Constitution and legal framework".

You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times. It called the probe one of "undeniable technical complexity".

The move comes less than two months after Supreme Court prosecutors opened a money-laundering probe against the former monarch following reports that he had taken over $100 million (€85 million) from Saudi Arabia.

Juan Carlos is the target of official investigations in Spain and Switzerland, which are looking into possible financial wrongdoing.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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