20:42 GMT07 May 2021
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    Former Spanish king Juan Carlos has had a number of damaging allegations of financial impropriety against him which has seen the Spanish royal family fall under scrutiny. The Spanish Supreme Court is currently investigating the former king over the role he played in landing Spain a lucrative contract to build a high speed railway in Saudi Arabia.

    Spain’s former king Juan Carlos has put the Spanish royal family under scrutiny due to questions over his finances and several allegations of impropriety.

    According to a Guardian report though legal experts have said that the former king’s actions are unlikely to affect the current or future monarch's constitutional immunity.

    During his 39 year reign Juan Carlos was praised for helping to dismantle the former Franco regime and introduced Spain’s transition into democracy.

    However in 2014, Juan Carlos abdicated his position as king in favour of his son Felipe, after the monarchy’s reputation began to suffer, which was exacerbated by an elephant hunting trip he took to Botswana during a time of financial crisis in Spain. 

    Further allegations against the former King have continued to tarnish the Spanish royal family’s reputation ever since.

    Last month, the public prosecutor’s office of the Spanish Supreme Court launched an investigation into Juan Carlos’s role as a facilitator in landing a Spanish consortium a €6.7 billion contract to build a high speed rail in Saudi Arabia connecting Medina and Mecca.

    Prosecutors will try to establish the “criminal relevance” of events which occurred after June 2014 after he abdicated from the throne and relinquished his right to constitutional immunity.

    This followed reports in March that suggested that the former king had received a $100 million payment from Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah that he put in an offshore account in 2008, three years before the contract was secured.

    It was also reported that in 2012, he gifted $65 million to Corina Larsen, who was described as a close friend of Juan Carlos, from the same account.

    In the same month, his son King Felipe VI renounced his inheritance from his father and stripped him of his annual stipend from the State’s General Budget.

    This came after a report had named King Felipe VI as a beneficiary of a secret offshore account with ties to Saudi Arabia.

    The Telegraph reported that Juan Carlos had set up the offshore account under the name of the Lucum Foundation in 2008, which held around £65 million in funds that were described as a “donation” from the “king of Saudi Arabia.”

    Meanwhile, El Pais reported on Monday that Swiss prosecutors are investigating a €3.5 million transfer from an account held by Juan Carlos to another account in the Bahamas, as part of a wider probe into the former king’s alleged financial irregularities.

    According to the Guardian, Carlos Flores, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Valencia said that it would be “absurd” to change the constitution for the sake of the king’s immunity.

    Joaquín Urías, a lecturer in constitutional law at the University of Seville also said that while Juan Carlos’ finances are having an “unprecedented effect” on the monarchy, changing the constitution right now is “impossible” because of the “ideological divisions” in the country.

    “I think the government is doing the only thing it can, which is trying to separate King Felipe VI from his father,” he said.



    King Felipe VI, Spain, Juan Carlos
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