Spain’s former King Juan Carlos to leave country amid scandal


Spain's former King Juan Carlos will leave the country, the royal palace has announced.


In a letter to his son, King Felipe VI, Juan Carlos informed the current monarch of his “considered decision to move” out of the country due to the “public repercussions of certain episodes of his past private life”.


In June, Spain's Supreme Court opened an investigation into the alleged involvement of Juan Carlos in a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia.


It was not immediately clear when the former monarch would leave Spain and where he would reside.


King Felipe expressed " heartfelt respect and gratitude" for his father's decision to leave the country, according to a press release from the Royal Household.


"The King wishes to emphasise the historical importance that his father's reign represents, his legacy and his political and institutional work for Spain and democracy; and at the same time he wants to reaffirm the principles and values ​​on which it (Spain's democracy) is based," the release said.


Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014 after nearly 40 years as king following a corruption investigation involving his daughter's husband and a controversial elephant hunting trip the monarch took during Spain's financial crisis.


Swiss prosecutors are currently examining documents that allege Juan Carlos may have received $100 million from Saudi Arabia's king in 2008, a senior Spanish official with knowledge of the proceedings told CNN last month.


Spanish anti-corruption officials suspect that the former king kept some undeclared funds in Switzerland, and a Swiss investigation is under way.


The former king's lawyer said in a statement Monday that even though he is leaving Spain, Juan Carlos wanted to make public that he "remains at the disposition of [Spanish prosecutors] for any formalities or actions considered opportune."