- After a period of ambiguity about where he had taken refuge, a spokesman for the Spanish Royal Palace announced that the former King Juan Carlos is in the UAE.
- Juan Carlos had left Spain after being haunted by suspicions of corruption and deals with Saudi Arabia.
- No investigation has been opened against Juan Carlos to this day, but the accusations of a former lover named Corinna Larsen, which were reported by the newspapers
The Spanish Royal Palace confirmed that the former King, Juan Carlos, who decided in early August to reside in exile due to suspicions of corruption, is in the United Arab Emirates. A spokesman for the Royal Palace made the announcement, but did not give further details.
After abdicating the throne amid corruption accusations linked to earlier lover’s statements, Juan Carlos announced on August 3 that he was leaving Spain to avoid harming the rule of his son, King Felipe VI. Juan Carlos’s lawyer informed that the latter would remain at the disposal of the judiciary if necessary.
No investigation has been opened against Juan Carlos to this day, but the accusations of a former lover named Corinna Larsen, which were reported by the newspapers, aroused the interest of a public prosecutor in Geneva about his wealth that he placed in secret accounts in Switzerland. The former king, who maintains close relations with the Gulf states, may have received $100 million from Saudi Arabia in 2008.
The prosecutor of the only Spanish Supreme Court authorized to prosecute the former king is seeking to find out whether unlawful bribes were paid as part of a deal to build an express train line in Saudi Arabia, and whether he personally benefited from it, as his previous lover claims.
The disclosure of this information increased pressure on the Royal Palace, which encouraged the former king to leave the country with the government’s approval. Juan Carlos wrote in a letter before leaving the country:
“Guided by the conviction to best serve the people of Spain, its institutions, and you as king, I inform you of my decision at this time to leave Spain. A decision I make with deep emotion but with great serenity.”
In his letter, he explained to his son that his decision was driven by his desire to “facilitate the carrying out of his duties” in the face of “the general consequences caused by past events in his personal life,” referring to the investigation that the Supreme Court opened against him in June. In July, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expressed his “concern” about this information.
Juan Carlos was king of Spain for 38 years when he assumed power after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975. He allowed a transition from dictatorial rule to democracy in 1977 and succeeded in stopping a military coup in 1981. As soon as he ascended the throne, King Felipe VI distanced himself in an attempt to polish the image of the monarchy.
Meanwhile, newspapers were criticizing the behavior of Juan Carlos, especially a trip to hunt elephants in Africa with his mistress, as well as his relations with the Gulf countries, and the lack of transparency about him and his wealth.
The Royal Palace also announced that Juan Carlos will no longer receive his annual allocations of more than €194,000, as reported by the newspapers.