MADRID (AP) — Spain’s former monarch, King Juan Carlos I, says he is leaving Spain to live in another country amid a financial scandal.
The royal family’s website on Monday published a letter from Juan Carlos to his son, King Felipe VI, saying “I am informing you of my considered decision to move, during this period, out of Spain.”
Spain’s prime minister recently said he found the developments about Juan Carlos ― including investigations in Spain and Switzerland ― “disturbing.”
Since Spain’s Supreme Court opened its probe earlier this year, Spanish media outlets have published damaging testimony from a separate Swiss investigation into millions of euros (dollars) that were allegedly given to Juan Carlos by Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah.
Juan Carlos allegedly then transferred a large amount to a former companion in what investigators are considering as a possible attempt to hide the money from authorities.
The 82-year-old former king is credited with helping Spain peacefully restore democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.
But marred by scandals in the later years of his reign, Juan Carlos in 2014 abdicated in favor of his son Felipe VI, losing the inviolability protection Spain’s Constitution grants to the head of state.
After media reports claimed Felipe was a beneficiary of an offshore account holding an alleged 65 million-euro gift ( $76 million) from Saudi Arabia to Juan Carlos, Felipe renounced any future personal inheritance he might receive from the former king. Felipe also stripped his father of his annual stipend of 194,232 euros ($228,000.)
The royal house has denied that Felipe had any knowledge of his father’s alleged financial irregularities.