Madrid (dpa) - After the controversial as well as mysterious departure of the old king Juan Carlos suspected of corruption, the criticism of government and royals in Spain does not stop.

Juan Carlos has not escaped from the judiciary, deputy prime minister Carmen Calvo assured on Wednesday in Oviedo in northern Spain. "He fled from nothing," the 82-year-old was not a defendant, she emphasized to journalists.

In a letter published on Monday evening by the royal family to his son and successor Felipe VI. had told Juan Carlos that he was going abroad because of the financial affair. He wanted to “make Felipe's work easier”. According to media reports, the former head of state had long since left Spain when the letter was published.

The exile of the old king was decided jointly by the government and the royal family, usually assured well-informed media. The whereabouts of the Bourbon were still unclear on Wednesday. The royal family was silent on this question. Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez said only when asked by journalists: "I don't know."

According to reports, Juan Carlos is said to be in the Dominican Republic. It is said that he stayed with a close friend, the sugar magnate Pepe Fanjul.

While Sánchez praised the behavior of the royal family and expressed "respect" for Juan Carlos' decision, his second deputy Pablo Iglesias from coalition junior partner Unidas Podemos spoke of an "unworthy escape". The city of Gijón in northern Spain announced the renaming of Avenida Juan Carlos I, one of the city's most important arteries, because of the scandal. According to the media, other communities and regions are considering similar measures.

The scandal involves suspected bribes for the construction of a high-speed rail link in Saudi Arabia by a Spanish consortium. Juan Carlos is said to have received $ 100 million from the Saudis for mediation in 2008. At that time he still enjoyed immunity as a monarch. In connection with the payment, however, he is now suspected of tax evasion and money laundering after his abdication in June 2014. The Madrid Supreme Court launched an investigation in June.

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