Spanish court rejects 'frivolous' paternity suit against former king

MADRID (AFP) - Spanish judges rejected as "false and frivolous" a paternity suit against Spain's former king Juan Carlos by a woman claiming to be his daughter, court documents revealed Thursday.

The Supreme Court last month dismissed the case brought by Belgian housewife Ingrid Sartiau but the grounds for its decision were made public only on Thursday.

Sartiau, reportedly in her late 40s, claimed that Juan Carlos fathered her in the mid-1960s after a relationship with her mother Liliane.

The judges cited contradictions in the case presented by Sartiau, such as differing accounts of the date and duration of her mother's alleged liaison with the former king.

Her case "is quite plainly false, frivolous and unfounded," the judges wrote in their ruling.

"It is completely lacking in plausibility and seriousness."

Sartiau had also demanded that Juan Carlos undergo a DNA test, but the court turned down that request.

It was the first lawsuit against the 77-year-old former king since he lost his total immunity from court proceedings when he abdicated last June.

Courts had rejected in 2012 an earlier suit by Sartiau and a Spanish man claiming to be Juan Carlos' son.

The only tribunal that could theoretically hear a fresh appeal against the ruling is the Constitutional Court.

Juan Carlos took the throne in 1975 after the death of dictator Francisco Franco and reigned for 39 years.

He married Queen Sofia in 1962 and they had two daughters and a son, the current King Felipe VI, 47.

Juan Carlos handed the crown last year to Felipe hoping to freshen the royals' image, dogged by scandals and health problems.

After he lost his immunity, parliament rushed through a new law giving the Supreme Court sole authority to hear cases against him.