Scandal-hit monarch faces investigation into credit cards use

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Spain’s attorney-general has issued a statement confirming he has instructed prosecutors of the supreme court, the country’s highest court, to investigate these claims. This came hours after online Spanish newspaper ElDiario.es claimed anti-corruption prosecutors were looking into whether Juan Carlos and his wife Queen Sofia had spent large sums on credit cards linked to bank accounts outside Spain and not in their name. 

According to El Diario, the investigation is looking at allegations dating after Juan Carlos’s abdication in 2014.

By abdicating, the former monarch lost his immunity to prosecution.

El Diario alleged the credit cards were used from 2016 to 2018.

Prosecutors could also be looking into expenses relating to Queen Sofia’s trips to London, according to the news outlet. 

King Felipe, who became the new Spanish monarch in June 2014, Queen Letizia or their two daughters did not use these credit cards, El Diario added.

These allegations, if proven, could constitute a money laundering offence for which Juan Carlos could be prosecuted.

The general prosecutor of the supreme court will determine whether the 82-year-old former King can be included in the corruption case. 

Contacted by AFP, the Sanchez-Junco law firm representing Juan Carlos made no comment on the investigation. 

Express.co.uk has contacted the firm for further comment.

This probe is the latest of a string of legal enquiries into the finances of the former monarch. 

The Spanish court opened an investigation over the summer to look into the role Juan Carlos had in a deal in which a Spanish consortium landed a €6.7bn (£5.9bn) contract to build a high-speed rail line in Saudi Arabia. 

Prosecutors are investigating whether Juan Carlos had received illegal payments in connection with the construction of the high-speed railway linking Spain’s Medina and Saudi Arabia’s Mecca.

Swiss newspaper La Tribune de Genève also claimed Juan Carlos received millions from the Saudi king and gave a share to his former lover, Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, in 2012. 

Ms Sayn-Wittgenstein and the former monarch had an affair from 2004 to 2009. 

The 55-year-old is currently under investigation for money-laundering in Switzerland.

Her lawyers strongly deny any wrongdoings and say the money was a gift from the then-King. 

Former King Juan Carlos announced on August 3 he was going into voluntary exile to protect the Spanish Crown and his son Felipe from being undermined by his personal affairs.

In a statement issued through his lawyers at the time, Juan Carlos denied any wrongdoings or that he was trying to escape justice, as some anti-monarchists had accused him of being doing.

The statement added the former King remained available to prosecutors.     

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