Spain: Ex-King Juan Carlos I Won’t Get Special Treatment

Spain’s former King Juan Carlos waves during a 2019 bullfight at the bullring in Aranjuez, Madrid, Spain. (AP Photo/Andrea Comas, File)

MADRID (AP) — A Spanish government official said Monday that Juan Carlos I deserves no special treatment by the legal system, amid reports the former monarch is preparing to admit alleged undeclared income.

National newspapers El País and El Mundo cited unidentified sources in their reports that the former king, who in August went to live abroad amid a financial scandal, wants to confess to nonpayment of taxes. El País said the undeclared income amounts to more than 500,000 euros ($605,000).

Under Spanish law, confessing to undeclared income and paying the outstanding taxes allows offenders to avoid being charged with a crime.

The former monarch’s legal team didn’t immediately reply to requests for comment. After he left Spain, Juan Carlos went to stay in the United Arab Emirates, but it is not clear whether he is still there.

Transport Minister José Luis Ábalos said in an interview Monday with public broadcaster RTVE that “everybody is equal before the law, for better or for worse.”

Ábalos said he didn’t know Juan Carlos’ plans, but “the best thing would have been if the question had never arisen.”

The former king is the target of official investigations in Spain and Switzerland for possible financial wrongdoing. Those investigations prompted him to leave Spain in August.

Since then, prosecutors have opened several corruption investigations involving Juan Carlos.

The investigations have caused unease in the Socialist-led coalition government and royal household and given ammunition to those who want the monarchy abolished.

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