December 5, 2020

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Spain’s Former King, Juan Carlos, Leaves Country Amid Corruption Allegations


The Ex-monarch is presently embroiled in  corruption allegations involving a $100m high speed rail contract money allegedly received from the Late Saudi King, Abdallah.

The corruption claims have eroded public confidence in the country’s monarchy.


Spain’s former king, Juan Carlos, has left the country as a result f corruption allegations levied against him several reports has revealed.

The nation’s supreme court opened an inquiry in June into his involvement in a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia which was granted to Spanish companies in 2011.

The investigation came after Switzerland’s La Tribune de Geneve newspaper reported he had received $100m (£75m) from the late Saudi King Abdullah.

The ex-Spanish monarch allegedly then transferred a large amount to a businesswoman, in what investigators are considering as a possible attempt to hide the money from authorities.

Juan Carlos, 82, has declined to comment on the allegations.

His lawyer, Javier Sanchez-Junco, said despite his decision to leave, the former king would “remain at the disposal of the prosecutors’ office”.

The ex-monarch had in a letter communicated to his son, King Felipe, of his intention to leave.

“I am informing you of my considered decision to move, during this period, out of Spain,” he said in a letter published on the royal family’s website.

Juan Carlos said he came to the decision against the backdrop of “public repercussions that certain past events in my private life are generating”.

He said he wanted to ensure he did not make his son’s role as monarch difficult.

King Felipe, 52, thanked Juan Carlos for his decision, underlining “the historic importance that his father’s reign represents” for democracy in Spain.

But deputy prime minister Pablo Iglesias, who heads the far-left Podemos party in the ruling coalition, called the move to leave the country “an act unworthy of a former head of state” and said it compromised the monarchy.

In March, King Felipe renounced his own inheritance and stripped his father of his palace allowance after the corruption allegations surfaced.

Spanish monarchs have immunity during their reign but Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014, potentially leaving himself vulnerable to prosecution.

Juan Carlos 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 his popularity sank in later years because of a series of scandals, leading to him stepping down.

There was outrage over an expensive elephant-hunting trip he made to Botswana in 2012, during a time when Spain was facing austerity, recession and soaring unemployment. He later apologised.

At present his whereabouts are not known.


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