In about a month, Juan Carlos I will enjoy a unique kind of immunity from civil and criminal prosecution.
Spain’s Popular Party (PP) government has prepared a tailor-made amendment to an existing bill that will legally protect the former monarch after he lost his inviolability when he signed his abdication into law.
When the new legislation goes into effect, only the Supreme Court will have the power to try Felipe VI’s father in any case pertaining to his public or private life.
This protection from the lower courts extends to his wife Doña Sofía, Queen Letizia and the heir to the crown, eight-year-old Leonor.
The draft legislation also puts on hold any legal proceedings that may be filed against Juan Carlos before the new aforamiento, as the protection is known in Spanish, takes effect.
PP spokesman Alfonso Alonso said he had spoken with all parties in Congress but only two smaller groups, UPN and Foro Asturias, expressed support for the project. The ruling party is now seeking backing from the main opposition Socialists. Some parties reject this special legal protection, which is unique to Spain’s democratic history.
A year-and-a-half ago, two Madrid courts received two different paternity claims against Juan Carlos for alleged events dating back to before he became king. The courts threw out the complaints based on the monarch’s inviolability, as established in the Spanish Constitution.