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Spain's ex-king leaves country amid scandal

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 01:47s - Published
Spain's ex-king leaves country amid scandal

Spain's ex-king leaves country amid scandal

Spain's former king Juan Carlos has decided to leave his country, a dramatic exit designed to protect the monarchy after a barrage of corruption allegations surfaced against him.

Libby Hogan reports.

Spain's former King Juan Carlos has left his country, a dramatic exit after corrupion allegtions surfaced against him Local media reported that he had left the country by Monday (August 3) but his destination was unclear.

Pressure has been building for weeks, after Spanish and Swiss prosecutors opened an investigation into bribes over a high-speed rail contract.

A Swiss newspaper reported that Juan Carlos had received $100 million from the late Saudi King over the contract.

It's left some Spaniards feeling surprised: " I did not expect it at all and the truth is that I think it is a bit of a rash decision." And some angry with his decision: "It's really bad, he should leave Spain when he has returned everything he's stolen.

When he leaves all the money here, he can leave." The 82-year-old was once-popular with the Spanish people, but is his reputation has been tarnished by scandal.

Juan Carlos apparently announced his exit in a letter to his son, the current King Felipe.

A palace statement quoted from that letter, with Juan Carlos saying his intention for his departure was to enable his son to rule untroubled amid " the public repercussions that certain past events in my private life are generating".

Juan Carlos was widely respected for helping guide Spain from dictatorship to democracy.

He came to the throne in 1975 upon the death of General Francisco Franco.

His popularity faded following a series of scandals, pushing him to step down in 2014.

Despite his departure from the country, Juan Carlos' lawyer said the former king woud "Remain at the disposal of the prosecutors' office."




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