Former king leaves Spain amid fi­nan­cial scan­dal

Irish Examiner - - World News -

Former king Juan Car­los has said he is leav­ing Spain to live in an­other coun­try amid a fi­nan­cial scan­dal.

The royal fam­ily’s web­site yes­ter­day pub­lished a let­ter from Juan Car­los to his son, King Felipe VI, say­ing “I am in­form­ing you of my con­sid­ered de­ci­sion to move, dur­ing this pe­riod, out of Spain.”

Juan Car­los, in the let­ter, says 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 does not make his son’s role dif­fi­cult, adding “my legacy and my own dig­nity, de­mand that it should be so”.

He did not say which coun­try he will be mov­ing to.

Juan Car­los’s lawyer, Javier Sanchez-Junco Mans, said in an emailed state­ment that the former king had asked him to make clear that even though he will be out­side Spain he in­tends to be avail­able to co­op­er­ate with the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Spain’s prime min­is­ter re­cently said he found the devel­op­ments about Juan Car­los — in­clud­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions in Spain and Switzer­land — “dis­turb­ing”.

Since Spain’s Supreme Court opened its probe ear­lier this year, Span­ish me­dia out­lets have pub­lished tes­ti­mony from a sep­a­rate Swiss in­ves­ti­ga­tion into mil­lions of eu­ros that were al­legedly given to Juan

Car­los by Saudi Ara­bia’s late King Ab­dul­lah.

Juan Car­los al­legedly then trans­ferred a large amount to a former com­pan­ion in what in­ves­ti­ga­tors are con­sid­er­ing as a pos­si­ble at­tempt to hide the money from au­thor­i­ties.

The 82-year-old former king is cred­ited with help­ing Spain peace­fully re­store democ­racy af­ter the death of dic­ta­tor Fran­cisco Franco in 1975.

But marred by scan­dals in the later years of his reign, Juan Car­los in 2014 ab­di­cated in favour of his son Felipe VI, los­ing the in­vi­o­la­bil­ity pro­tec­tion Spain’s Con­sti­tu­tion grants to the head of state.

Af­ter me­dia re­ports claimed Felipe was a ben­e­fi­ciary of an off­shore ac­count hold­ing an al­leged €65m gift from Saudi Ara­bia to Juan Car­los, Felipe re­nounced any fu­ture per­sonal in­her­i­tance he might re­ceive from the former king.

Felipe also stripped his fa­ther of his an­nual stipend of €194,232.

The royal house has de­nied Felipe had any knowl­edge of his fa­ther’s al­leged fi­nan­cial ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties.

Former Span­ish king Juan Car­los hasn’t re­vealed where he’ll go.

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