Autor: admin
Datum objave: 05.08.2020

Spain’s ex-king Juan Carlos I leaves country amid financial scandal

Guided by the conviction to perform the best service to the Spanish people, their institutions and you as King, I am communicating my thoughtful decision to move, at this time, outside of Spain

Spain’s ex-king Juan Carlos I leaves country amid financial scandal
The former king of Spain has skipped town amid a financial scandal — and his whereabouts are currently unknown.

Ex-monarch Juan Carlos I wrote in a letter to his son, King Felipe VI, that he decided to leave for another country “in the face of the public repercussions of certain episodes of my past private life.”

“Guided by the conviction to perform the best service to the Spanish people, their institutions and you as King, I am communicating my thoughtful decision to move, at this time, outside of Spain,” it states.

The letter was published on the royal family’s website Monday.

Juan Carlos, 82, is credited with helping Spain peacefully restore democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

But the later years of his reign were marred by scandal, and he abdicated the throne in 2014 amid public scrutiny — including over an elephant-hunting trip to Botswana that he took as the country was devastated by a financial crisis.

Spain’s Supreme Court opened a probe into the ex-king’s financial dealings earlier this year.

A statement from Spain’s general prosecutor’s office in June said it was investigating whether Juan Carlos received millions of dollars in kickbacks from Saudi Arabia during the construction of a high-speed railway there by a Spanish consortium.

Local outlets have since published bombshell testimony as part of a separate Swiss investigation into millions of dollars that the royal allegedly got from Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah.

The former monarch then allegedly transferred large sums to a former companion, Danish-German businesswoman Corinna Larsen — something investigators consider a possible attempt to hide the cash from authoritiAfter media reports claimed Felipe was a beneficiary of an offshore account holding an alleged $75 million gift from Saudi Arabia to Juan Carlos, the king in March renounced any future personal inheritance he might receive from his dad and cut off his father’s annual $228,000 stipend.

The royal house has denied that Felipe had any knowledge of his dad’s alleged financial issues. It said in a statement that the king respected his dad’s decision to leave.

Despite Juan Carlos’ finances being questioned in Spanish media for years, there have so far been no legal implications.

In his letter to his son, he said he doesn’t want to make Felipe’s role difficult, adding: “my legacy, and my own dignity, demand that it should be so.”

With Post wireses.
Spain’s disgraced ex-king leaves public life
Spain’s former king is retiring from public life today (Sunday) at a bullfight south of Madrid five years after his reign ended in abdication and revelations about his personal life. 

Since his son, Felipe, took the crown, Juan Carlos de Borbón has endured humiliation and ill health and was denied an invitation to yesterday’s Armed Forces Day in Seville. 

Last week the 81-year-old wrote to his son that it was time to “start a new chapter in my life and complete my retirement from public life”.

His family was kept in exile by fascist dictator Francisco Franco and when he was 18, Juan Carlos “accidentally” shot dead his younger brother, Alfonso, at the family’s home in Portugal.

Juan Carlos launched Spain’s democratic transition after the dictator’s death in 1975 and was proclaimed king two days afterwards. He is widely credited with safeguarding the transition to democracy, helping to put down a coup in 1981 by appealing to military chiefs for support and making a key television address. 

But the royal scandals reawakened Spain’s republican sympathies, leading to calls from the left-wing Podemos party for a referendum on the monarchy. 

Juan Carlos’s disastrous elephant hunting expedition in Botswana in 2012 led to his abdication in 2014. 

He took the safari with a German princess, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, his former mistress, while Spain was suffering under austerity measures.

An embezzlement scandal involving Cristina, his daughter, and son-in-law Inaki Urdangarin, who is now in prison, further reduced his popularity, which led to a reduction in his public engagements. 

He is still, however, a regular customer at top restaurants.

Late last year a photo showed him at the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix with Mohammed Bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince accused of ordering the murder of the exiled journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. A newspaper called it “the photo of shame”.

Then secretly recorded conversations Corinna had with a former police chief were made public. 
She said Juan Carlos received commissions on commercial contracts in the Arab World and had used her name to hide real-estate assets and Swiss bank accounts.
The princess claimed that Spain’s intelligence chief said he could not guarantee the safety of her family if she spoke out about her six-year affair with Juan Carlos.
His former mistress alleged that Spanish security agents ransacked her Monaco apartment to remove documents linked to Juan Carlos. She claimed they left a book about Princess Diana with the message: “Between Nice and Monaco there are a lot of tunnels”, in reference to Diana’s death in a Parisian underpass.
Juan Carlos de Borbón and his wife, Sofia, bid farewell to parliament. Picture credit: YouTube
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