When King Juan Carlos surprised Spain in June by abdicating in favour of his son, now Spanish King Felipe VI, he lost the immunity from prosecution in Spanish courts that he had previously enjoyed as head of state.
Amid rumours of potential paternity suits and other possible accusations against the outgoing monarch, Congress rapidly passed a law in June granting Juan Carlos I de Borbón a similar level of protection to leading politicians; he could only face investigation in the Supreme Court.
Now, five months later, prosecutors in the Supreme Court have recommended that two paternity suits in which the 76-year-old former king is named should not be taken further due to “a lack of evidence”, the newspaper El País reports.
One of the suits has been pressed by a Spanish citizen, Alberto Solá Jiménez, while the other case relates to a Belgian national.
Solá has claimed for years that the former king had a relationship with the claimant’s biological mother, Anna María Bach Ramon, before taking the throne. Born in Barcelona in 1956, Solá was brought up by an adoptive family.
The law granting the old king immunity from actions in lower courts covers both criminal accusations and private lawsuits, relating to both his public and private activities.
The final decision as to whether to investigate either of the paternity suits will be taken by judges in the Supreme Court’s civil section.
Juan Carlos I abdicated after a series of health problems and various scandals within Spain's Royal Family, notably the criminal case against his youngest daughter, Princess Cristina, and her husband, who are accused of tax laundering and embezzlement, amongst other charges.