Spain’s for­mer king leaves coun­try amid scandal

The Korea Times - - WORLD -

MADRID (AFP) — Spain’s for­mer king Juan Car­los, at the cen­ter of an al­leged $100-mil­lion cor­rup­tion scandal, has re­port­edly fled to the Do­mini­can Repub­lic af­ter his shock an­nounce­ment he was go­ing into ex­ile.

The 82-year-old re­vealed on Mon­day that he had taken the de­ci­sion to leave Spain to help his son, the cur­rent King Felipe VI, “ex­er­cise his re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.”

The let­ter, pub­lished on the royal palace’s web­site, did not men­tion where the for­mer king would go, nor when ex­actly he would leave the coun­try.

But on Tues­day, daily news­pa­per ABC re­ported that he left Spain on Sun­day and flew to the Do­mini­can Repub­lic via Por­tu­gal.

The La Van­guardia and El Mundo dailies si­m­il­iarly said he planned to stay with friends in the Caribbean coun­try, but on­line news­pa­per El Con­fi­den­cial said he could be in Por­tu­gal, where he spent part of his youth, or in France or Italy.

Asked by AFP about the re­ports, a royal palace spokesman re­fused to give any in­for­ma­tion about Juan Car­los’s where­abouts.

“The only in­for­ma­tion we have is the in­for­ma­tion which was pub­lished on the web­site of the royal palace yes­ter­day. It is the only in­for­ma­tion which we have,” he said.

The ex-king’s lawyer, Javier Sanchez-Junco, is­sued a state­ment Mon­day say­ing his client was not try­ing to es­cape jus­tice by go­ing into ex­ile and would re­main avail­able to pros­e­cu­tors.

The for­mer head of state has been un­der a cloud since var­i­ous me­dia re­ported that he al­legedly re­ceived funds from Saudi Ara­bia and probes are now un­der way in both Switzer­land and Spain.

Spain’s Supreme Court an­nounced in June an in­ves­ti­ga­tion to de­ter­mine the le­gal re­spon­si­bil­ity of the ex-monarch — but only for acts com­mit­ted af­ter his ab­di­ca­tion in 2014, be­cause of the im­mu­nity he holds. The sus­pi­cions cen­ter on $100 mil­lion (85 mil­lion eu­ros) al­legedly paid se­cretly into a Swiss bank ac­count in 2008.

For­mer Span­ish king Juan Car­los

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