The former monarch of Spain, King Juan Carlos I, says he is moving to live in another country, weeks after being linked with an investigation into allegations of corruption.
In June, the Spanish Supreme Court opened an investigation into Juan Carlos’ involvement in a high-speed train contract in Saudi Arabia after Swiss newspaper La Tribune de Genève announced that he had received $ 100 million from the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.
Through his lawyer, Javier Sanchez-Junco, 82-year-old Juan Carlos declined to comment on the allegations.
Sanchez-Junco said in a brief statement on Monday that the former king asked him to clarify that even though he would be outside Spain, he intended to be available to cooperate with the investigation.
It was not immediately clear whether Juan Carlos was still in Spain, but El Mundo newspaper reported that Juan Carlos had already left the country.
“I inform you of my considered decision to move, during this period, out of Spain,” said Juan Carlos in a letter to his son, King Felipe, published on tThe Royal Family’s website Monday.
The former king said he made the decision against the backdrop of the “public repercussions of certain episodes in my past private life,” adding that he wanted to make sure he didn’t make the role of his son difficult.
“My legacy and my own dignity demand that this be the case,” he said, without specifying in which country he will move.
King Felipe thanked Juan Carlos for his decision, stressing “the historical importance that his father’s reign represents” for democracy in Spain.
He also reaffirmed “the principles and values on which (democracy) is founded in accordance with our Constitution and our legal framework”.
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Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez recently said he found the developments regarding Juan Carlos, including the investigations in Spain and Switzerland, “disturbing”.
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 last years of his reign, Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014 in favor of his son Felipe VI, losing the protection of inviolability that the Spanish constitution grants to the head of state.
After media claimed that Felipe was a beneficiary of an offshore account holding an alleged gift of 65 million euros ($ 76 million) from Saudi Arabia to Juan Carlos, Felipe waived any future personal inheritance that he would have. ‘he could receive from the old king. Felipe also stripped his father of his annual allowance of 194,232 euros ($ 228,000).
The royal household denied that Felipe had any knowledge of his father’s alleged financial irregularities.