Spain’s former king Juan Carlos I is leaving the country amid an ongoing scandal over alleged tax evasion.
Juan Carlos communicated his decision to his son and current king, Felipe VI, in a letter circulated by the Zarzuela Palace Monday, in which he wrote that he is leaving the country given the “public repercussions of certain past developments of my private life.”
The scandal-hit former king, who has not yet revealed where he will move to, added he wanted Felipe to continue to carry out his job with the “tranquillity and calm” required.
The move comes after Spanish press reported Juan Carlos had received €64.8 million in 2008 from Saudi Arabia via an offshore account. Tax authorities in Switzerland have provided information to the Spanish judicial system about the former king’s financial dealings, leading to questions about his activities after June 2014, when he abdicated and lost his immunity.
Prosecutors at Spain’s Supreme Court must now determine if there is sufficient evidence to open an investigation into possible money laundering and tax evasion committed by Juan Carlos after he stepped down from the throne.
The monarch, who reigned for 39 years, made no comment on the issue, but in a separate statement his lawyer said the ex-king would be at the disposal of investigators.
His exile is the latest in a series of moves aimed at protecting the current king from the bad press attracted by his 82-year-old father. In March, Felipe VI renounced the inheritance due from his father in a move seen as an attempt to distance himself from Juan Carlos.
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