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He Was King of Spain. Now He's Leaving the Country

Former monarch King Juan Carlos I didn't say where he was headed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 3, 2020 2:22 PM CDT

(Newser) – Spain’s former monarch, King Juan Carlos I, says he is leaving Spain to live in another country amid a financial scandal. The royal family’s website on Monday 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 doesn’t make his son’s role difficult, adding that “my legacy and my own dignity, demand that it should be so.” He did not say which country he will be moving to, reports the AP.

Since Spain’s Supreme Court opened its probe earlier this year, Spanish media outlets have published damaging testimony from a separate Swiss investigation into an alleged $76 million gift 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 say might have been an 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 favor of his son Felipe VI, losing the inviolability protection Spain’s Constitution grants to the head of state. Juan Carlos’ lawyer said that even though the king will be outside Spain he intends to be available to cooperate with the investigation.

(Read more King Juan Carlos I stories.)

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