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Spain is preparing some form of legal indemnity for King Juan Carlos after he abdicates throne

Spain is preparing a form of legal indemnity to cover King Juan Carlos once he abdicates the throne in favor of his son.

When 46-year-old Prince Felipe takes over as head of state on Thursday — he will become Felipe VI — the 76-year-old Juan Carlos will lose the legal cover he has enjoyed since becoming king in 1975.

Deputy Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaria says the new indemnity should shield Juan Carlos, who in retirement retains his title of king, from legal probes. Any possible legal case involving him would be examined by the Supreme Court, which has a much higher threshold for evidence.

His immunity stopped two lawsuits in 2012 seeking to have the king undergo two paternity tests.