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World Spanish republicans take to streets to call for prosecution of former king

20:10  18 october  2020
20:10  18 october  2020 Source:   reuters.com

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a group of people wearing costumes: Spanish republicans call for the prosecution of former Spain's king Juan Carlos I in Seville © Reuters/MARCELO DEL POZO Spanish republicans call for the prosecution of former Spain's king Juan Carlos I in Seville

SEVILLE, Spain (Reuters) - Waving red, purple and yellow republican flags, demonstrators in 24 Spanish cities on Sunday called for the prosecution of the former king Juan Carlos who left Spain embroiled in controversy.

a group of people standing in front of a building: Spanish republicans call for the prosecution of former Spain's king Juan Carlos I in Seville © Reuters/MARCELO DEL POZO Spanish republicans call for the prosecution of former Spain's king Juan Carlos I in Seville

The 82-year-old former monarch has been living in the United Arab Emirates since leaving Spain in August to avoid further embarrassing his son, King Felipe VI.

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"We are here to call for the corrupt former king to be prosecuted and to demand a republic," said Juan Morillo, 74, a retired teacher, who joined hundreds of demonstrators in Seville.

While not formally under investigation, Juan Carlos could become a target in two inquiries in Spain and Switzerland into alleged corruption associated with a 6.7-billion-euro (£6.1 billion), high-speed Saudi train contract won by Spanish firms.

a group of people walking on a sidewalk: Spanish republicans call for the prosecution of former Spain's king Juan Carlos I in Seville © Reuters/MARCELO DEL POZO Spanish republicans call for the prosecution of former Spain's king Juan Carlos I in Seville

Spain's supreme court prosecutor is considering whether to extend a corruption investigation into the train contract to formally involve Juan Carlos.

a group of people standing in front of a building: Spanish republicans call for the prosecution of former Spain's king Juan Carlos I in Seville © Reuters/MARCELO DEL POZO Spanish republicans call for the prosecution of former Spain's king Juan Carlos I in Seville

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

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A poll published last Monday for the Platform for Independent Media, a group of left-wing newspapers, found 40.9% of Spaniards preferred establishing a republic, while 34.9% said they supported the royal family and 24.2% said they did not know.

A poll published in August for the pro-monarchy ABC newspaper found 33.5% favouring a republic and 56% the monarchy, while 6% did not know and 4.1% were indifferent.

(Reporting by Graham Keeley; Additional reporting by Marcelo del Pozo and Silvio Castellanos; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

a group of people standing in front of a building: Spanish republicans call for the prosecution of former Spain's king Juan Carlos I in Seville © Reuters/MARCELO DEL POZO Spanish republicans call for the prosecution of former Spain's king Juan Carlos I in Seville

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