Paternity case against former King of Spain dismissed

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Image caption Juan Carlos is alleged to have fathered a child in the 1960s before he became king

The Spanish supreme court has thrown out a paternity claim against the former King of Spain.

A Belgian woman, Ingrid Sartiau, claims that Juan Carlos fathered her whilst crown prince in the 1960s.

On Wednesday, the court said that the claim had no basis and also denied Ms Sartiau's request for a DNA test.

The case was originally brought in 2012 but dismissed due to the king's royal immunity. He lost this protection when he chose to abdicate in June 2014.

The 77-year-old stepped down, making way for his son, Felipe VI.

Following this the Spanish parliament granted him partial immunity, but gave the supreme court the authority to prosecute the former monarch.

In January, the court agreed to examine Ms Sartiau's case but rejected another complainant's claims that he was also Juan Carlos's son.

Ms Sartiau claims that the former king fathered her before he became monarch but after he had married Queen Sofia in 1962.

Ms Sartiau could potentially appeal against the decision to the constitutional court.


Juan Carlos was popular for much of his 39-year reign, and he was credited with helping his country's transition to democracy after the death of General Franco in 1975.

But his popularity, and his health, declined in his later years as the royal family was hit by a series of scandals.

He was dogged by numerous allegations of infidelities, and apologised after he was photographed hunting elephants in Africa at the height of Spain's financial crisis.

One of his two daughters, Princess Cristina, is currently facing a tax fraud trial over alleged links to her husband's business dealings.

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