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Spain

Spanish authorities could halt all investigations into finances of King Juan Carlos


PHOTO: IREKIA/CC BY 2.0/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

Prosecutors in Spain investigating allegations of financial impropriety by King Juan Carlos are on the point of bringing their inquiries to an end meaning no lawsuits will be filed against the former monarch.

Leading newspaper, El Pais, says Spain’s Supreme Court and its anti corruption prosecutor are preparing a report that will set out why the investigations are ending. The decision to shelve the cases means legal proceedings will come to a close and no action will be taken. The move was first reported by El Confidencial.

Juan Carlos is currently under investigation for a number of issues. He is alleged to have taken money for his role in securing a contract to build a high speed rail link in Saudi Arabia. The possibility that money was placed in tax havens is also under scrutiny. A further investigation is looking into his tax affairs following claims he used money provided by a Mexican businessman for his expenses without declaring it to revenue authorities.

Prosecutors are expected to say that no charges will be brought as many of the allegations refer to events that took place before 2014 when Juan Carlos abdicated. While he was monarch, he had immunity and so the events under investigation are covered by that. Some of the allegations date back decades and so have exceeded the statute of limitations for such offences.

Furthermore, Juan Carlos made two payments to the Spanish Tax Authorities to regularise his accounts which stopped any possibility of legal action. There had been questions as to whether these payments, in December 2020 and February 2021, would be accepted as regularisations given that they took place after Juan Carlos found out he was under investigation. However, El Pais reports that they have been accepted as correct.

The financial affairs of King Juan Carlos have been under scrutiny for several years. He has always denied any wrongdoing. In March 2020, King Felipe VI renounced all personal inheritance from his father and took away his annual payment as a member of the Royal Household. However, intense scrutiny over Juan Carlos’ money continued and in August 2020, the former monarch announced he would leave Spain for self imposed exile. He has since lived in Abu Dhabi.

It’s been reported several times since that he is keen to return to Spain. A new book about him, published in France this week, said he remained deeply interested in the life of the country he ruled for almost four decades and spends hours every day reading Spanish papers and watching Spanish news.

About author

Lydia Starbuck is Associate Editor at Royal Central and the main producer and presenter of the Royal Central Podcast and Royal Central Extra. Lydia is also a pen name of June Woolerton, a journalist and writer with over twenty years experience in TV, radio, print and online. June has been a reporter, producer and editor, picking up several awards over the years. She's appeared on outlets including BBC 5 Live, BBC Radio Ulster and BBC Local Radio and has also helped set up a commercial radio station. June is also an accomplished writer with a wide range of material published online and in print. She is the author of two novels, published as e-books. She is also a marriage registrar and ceremony celebrant.