Spain: suspected of corruption, ex-king Juan Carlos leaves the country

Former Spanish king Juan Carlos is said to have left the country. Suspected of corruption and under investigation by the Supreme Court, he announced this decision in a letter addressed to his son, the sovereign Felipe VI, cited by the Royal House. “Guided now by the conviction to render the best service to the Spaniards, to their institutions, and to you as king, I inform you of my considered decision to exile myself, at this time, outside of Spain. », Wrote the former sovereign quoted in the press release of the Royal House, where King Felipe VI accepts and thanks him for his decision.

Spanish media speculated on Tuesday on the arrival of ex-king Juan Carlos in the Dominican Republic, but, since Monday, the Royal Palace has refused to release any information. All the press took for granted that the former monarch, targeted by an investigation for corruption, had left the territory on Monday, although neither the Royal Palace nor the government had confirmed it. On one of the daily website ABC, favorable to the monarchy, an article said Tuesday that Juan Carlos, 82, had visited the Dominican Republic. The world and TheVanguard have followed suit and write that he intends to stay for some time with friends in this Caribbean country. But the online newspaper El Confidencial writes that he could be in Portugal, where he spent his early childhood, but also in France or Italy, where he has parents. The Royal Palace declined to comment on these speculations. “The only information we have is that which was published yesterday on the Royal House website,” a spokesperson said.

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End of tarnished reign

In early June, the Spanish Supreme Court announced the opening of an investigation to establish whether Juan Carlos was criminally responsible in a case of alleged corruption when Saudi Arabia had entrusted a Spanish consortium with the construction of the TGV in Mecca. Justice has been investigating these facts since 2018, but by virtue of the immunity it enjoys, only the Supreme Court can seek to determine the responsibility of the former monarch, now aged 82, and only for acts committed after his abdication. Juan Carlos’ lawyer, Javier Sanchez-Junco, said in a statement that the former monarch was not seeking to escape justice by going into exile but remained at the disposal of the prosecution.

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The file was opened in September 2018 following the publication of recordings by the former mistress of Juan Carlos, Corinna Zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, who claimed that the sovereign had received a commission for the granting of a contract of 6 , 7 billion euros for the construction of a high speed train between Mecca and Medina to a consortium of Spanish companies.

Read also King Juan Carlos of Spain hid $ 100 million in Geneva

“It would be a possible offense of corruption in international business transactions”, then reported the prosecution. Swiss daily Geneva Tribune said in early March that Juan Carlos had received, in 2008, 100 million dollars from King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, in an account in Switzerland of a Panamanian foundation. The same month, the daily The Daily Telegraph reported that Felipe VI was also a beneficiary of this foundation. After the publication of these articles, Felipe VI withdrew from his father an annual endowment from the Royal Palace valued at more than 194,000 euros per year. Then he announced that he was renouncing his father’s inheritance “in order to preserve the exemplary nature of the crown”.

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