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Spanish Republicans protest for prosecution of former king Juan Carlos who fled country

The former monarch has been living in the United Arab Emirates after fleeing Spain amid controversy in August

Catalan separatist demonstrators during a protest in Barcelona on 9 October against the visit of Spanish King Felipe VI and Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez (AP)

Demonstrators in 24 cities around Spain gathered on Sunday to call for the prosecution of former King Juan Carlos who left the country in a cloud of controversy in August.

Protesters wielded red, purple and yellow Republican flags as they rallied for Carlos to be held culpable for the corruption in his financial history, from money laundering to tax evasion.

The 82-year-old former monarch relinquished the throne in 2014 and has been living in the United Arab Emirates since leaving Spain in order to avoid causing further embarrassment for his son, King Felipe VI.

“We are here to call for the corrupt former king to be prosecuted and to demand a republic,” Juan Morillo, 74, a retired teacher, told Reuters at the protest.

Carlos is not formally under investigation but could become the target in inquiries in Spain and Switzerland for alleged corruption associated with a €6.8 billion (£6.1) high-speed Saudi train contract won by Spanish firms.

Spain’s Supreme Court prosecutor is considering whether to extend the corruption investigation into the train contract, which would formally involve Carlos.

The former king has not commented publicly on the allegations, while his lawyer Javier Sanchez has said he is at the disposition of prosecutors if necessary.

In the wake of royal scandals, a poll published last Monday by the left-wing Platform for Independent Media found 90.9 per cent of Spaniards preferred establishing a republic in the country.

Meanwhile, 34.9 per cent…

Daisy Lester

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