Spain’s former king Juan Carlos I has decided to leave his country, as he is being investigated for alleged money laundering.

“I have been King of Spain for almost forty years and, during all of them, I have always wanted the best for Spain and for the Crown”, Juan Carlos said in a letter published by the Palace on Monday.

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“Guided by my desire to do what is best to serve the Spanish people, its institutions and you as king, I am informing you of my decision to leave Spain at this time”, he added.

Juan Carlos came to the throne in 1975 and was widely respected for his role in helping guide Spain from dictatorship to democracy. Later, his popularity sank due to a series of scandals, prompting him to step down in 2014.

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The government had repeatedly asked his son, King Felipe, to take steps to distance himself further from his father. In March, he renounced his own inheritance.

Local media said Juan Carlos had already left on Sunday. The Royal House and government officials declined to comment.


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