Spain’s former king Juan Carlos, 82, announces he is LEAVING the country amid corruption scandal
- Spain’s former monarch, King Juan Carlos I, says he is leaving Spain
- It comes after corruption allegations about him had surfaced in recent weeks
- Spain’s PM recently said he found developments about Juan Carlos ‘disturbing’
Spain’s former monarch, King Juan Carlos I, says he is leaving Spain to live in another country amid a financial scandal.
Former king Juan Carlos told his son, King Felipe, that he decided to leave Spain, the royal house said in a statement on Monday.
It comes on the back of a series of scandals involving the long-serving monarch, who abdicated in June 2014 after four decades on the throne.
His reputation has nosedived since his abdication with continuing rumours about lovers, corruption and Swiss bank accounts.
Spanish authorities are currently investigating whether he received a secret commission for helping to win a £5.5 billion Saudi rail deal after a former mistress made the allegations privately.
Spain’s former monarch, King Juan Carlos I (pictured), 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.’
Spain’s prime minister recently said he found the developments about Juan Carlos – including investigations in Spain and Switzerland – ‘disturbing.’
In June, Spain’s Supreme Court opened an investigation into Juan Carlos’ involvement with a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia after Switzerland’s La Tribune de Geneve newspaper reported he had received $100 million from the late Saudi King.
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.
Through his lawyer, Juan Carlos, 82, has repeatedly declined to comment on the allegations.
The former King said in a letter to his son, made public today: ‘Guided by my conviction I can offer the best service to Spaniards, its institutions and to you as King, I am communicating my decision to move away from Spain.
‘It’s a decision I am taking with deep feeling but with great serenity.
‘I have been King of Spain for almost 40 years and during that whole time, I’ve always wanted the best for Spain and for the Crown.’
He signed off the letter: ‘With affection as always, your father.’
In June, Spain’s Supreme Court opened an investigation into Juan Carlos’ involvement with a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia
Spanish TV analysts immediately dubbed the former monarch’s announcement he was quitting Spain as a ‘back-door’ exit.
Journalist Gema Lopez insisted his decision should not prevent a full investigation into Juan Carlos’s business activities going ahead.
She added: ‘The day he dies, I am not sure the historical revisionism of how he has acted will be as favourable as it has been up to now.’
She also questioned whether he could ever receive a state funeral.
Juan Carlos I reigned as King of Spain from 1975 to 2014 when he abdicated in favour of his son Felipe VI.