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Spain's former king Juan Carlos to get legal immunity

Published on Jun 20, 2014 11:49 PM
Spain's former King Juan Carlos (right) and Spain's Crown Prince Felipe stand during the ceremony of approval and enactment of a law bringing into effect King Juan Carlo's abdication in the Columns Hall at the Royal Palace in Madrid on June 18, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

MADRID (Reuters) - Spain's government proposed new rules on Friday to shield former king Juan Carlos of Spain from civil and criminal lawsuits in ordinary courts following his abdication in favour of his son Felipe this week.

Under the proposed measures, the former monarch will only answer to the Supreme Court, Spain's tribunal of last resort. Similar protection is afforded to high-ranking civil servants, people in political office and diplomats in Spain.

Two paternity suits were filed against Juan Carlos over a year ago, but courts did not process them because of his legal immunity as monarch. Without the new immunity rules, these cases could possibly be brought again in ordinary courts.

Juan Carlos announced on June 2 that he would step down in favour of his son, who was enthroned as King Felipe VI on Thursday. The move was seen as a bid to revive the scandal-hit monarchy at a time the country faces economic hardship.

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