Prosecutors suspend investigations into frauds haunting former king

Spanish prosecutors are suspending two investigations into alleged financial wrongdoing in Juan Carlos I’s business dealings that prompted the former monarch to leave Spain for Abu Dhabi. Prosecutors at Spain’s Supreme Court said on Wednesday they had found no evidence against which to prosecute because the monarch was protected by immunity until his abdication eight years ago and because any possible fraud was imprescriptible.

Investigations resulted in the recovery of 5.1 million euros ($5.6 million) in fines and income tax that Juan Carlos failed to report to Spanish tax authorities, prosecutors said in their submissions. conclusions. The former monarch, 84, moved to the United Arab Emirates in mid-2020 after legal inquiries emerged into his possible financial wrongdoings. A Swiss money laundering investigation was also dropped recently.

Spanish media have reported Juan Carlos’s interest in returning home, but the issue is hotly debated in Spain: some say the former king’s role in leading the country from dictatorship to democracy in the late 1970s and early 1980s outweighs its sins, while a growing number used the probes to demand more accountability for members of the royal family – or even to open a debate on the future of the Spanish monarchy. Juan Carlos abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI in 2014 following a series of royal family scandals. Since becoming king, Felipe has tried to distance himself from his father and rebuild the image of the Spanish crown.

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