Spanish court takes over new investigation of ex-king

MADRID (AP) — Spanish Supreme Court prosecutors have taken over a new investigation into the financial activities of ex-King Juan Carlos, who recently left Spain to live in an unspecified country following the opening of probes against him in Spain and Switzerland.

The State Prosecutor’s office Tuesday confirmed the court had taken charge of a new investigation after Spanish online daily elDiario.es reported that anti-corruption prosecutors were probing the alleged use by the former king, ex-Queen Sofia and some family members of credit cards linked to foreign accounts not in their names.

Spanish government spokeswoman María Jesús Montero declined to comment on the case, but said the government hoped it would be clarified as soon as possible.

The prosecutor’s office gave no details of the probe, but private news agency Europa Press said prosecutors confirmed it concerned the case mentioned by elDiario.es. Europa Press didn’t name the prosecutors who provided that information. A prosecutor’s statement said they were also investigating the leaking of the anti-corruption probe to a media outlet.

The card expenses relate to the period 2016-2018, following Juan Carlos’ abdication in 2014. EDiario.es said the probe didn’t concern his son, current Spanish King Felipe VI, or Queen Leticia.

The Supreme Court began investigating the former king after reports of a Swiss probe into the payment of millions of euros in kickbacks to Juan Carlos by Saudi Arabia’s late King Abdullah in 2008.

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 companion, Corinna Larsen, is a Danish-German businesswoman long linked by Spanish media to the former king.

Juan Carlos’ whereabouts have never been confirmed. He hasn’t been charged with any crime to date.

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