Spain's former king Juan Carlos is currently in Dominican Republic: Reports

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Aug 04, 2020, 03.51 PM(IST)

Spain's former king Juan Carlos flees the country Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Recently, Spanish and Swiss authorities started looking at allegations of bribing involved in a high-speed railway project’s contract

Juan Carlos, the former king of Spain is reportedly in the Dominican Republic after leaving his country due to a corruption scandal, according to Spanish newspapers.

The royal palace said that Carlos was leaving the country to allow his son Felipe to act as king, devoid of his interference, especially due to the corruption scandal. At the same time, the palace hadn’t announced where the 82-year-old former king was headed.

Bribe allegations

Recently, Spanish and Swiss authorities started looking at allegations of bribing involved in a high-speed railway project’s contract.

According to La Vanguardia, a Spanish publication, the King Emeritus left the palace on Sunday, after which he travelled to Portugal in a car. From there, he flew to the Dominican Republic. ABC newspaper also claimed that the ex-king had flown to the country.

Also read: Spain's ex-king Juan Carlos heads for exile under corruption cloud

He is slated to live with a family with sugar plantations, before he will head to a new destination. According to Carlos’ lawyer, he “would remain at the disposal of the prosecutors’ office”. No official comment has come in from the current whereabouts of the former from the Royal House.

In terms of the bribing allegations, the ex-king has rejected all such allegations. Carlos was an important player in Spain’s transition to democracy, after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975.

Protests have erupted

Protests have erupted over the sudden exit of Carlos, one protester told Reuters it was a “rash decision”. "I think it is a bit of a rash decision because he should be judged like any other Spanish citizen," Pablo Lopez said outside the Royal Palace.

More speculations have been flowing in about the king’s whereabouts, with a Portuguese channel TVI24 and Correio da Manha tabloid running stories of him being in a resort near Lisbon, in Cascais, where he spent his childhood.

Currently, prosecutors in Switzerland and Spain are investigating cases of potential bribes covering offshore accounts.

Even though there are allegations against him, no formal investigation has been launched which implies that he is not technically a fugitive.