Spain: Ex-King Juan Carlos prefers to stay in Abu Dhabi

Former King of Spain Juan Carlos I has communicated his desire to remain in Abu Dhabi despite the recent closure of tax investigations concerning him and which had led him to exile in the United Arab Emirates in 2020, announced on Monday the Spanish crown.

I prefer, for the time being, for reasons which belong to my private sphere and which concern only me, to continue to reside permanently and stably in Abu Dhabi.“wrote the king emeritus to his son, the current king Felipe VI, in a letter published by the royal family. “Once known the decisions of the General Prosecutor’s Office (Spanish), for which the investigations of which I was the subject have been closed, it seems appropriate to me to think of my return to Spain, but not immediately.“, added the former monarch, five days after the publication of these court decisions. In Abu Dhabi,I have found tranquility, especially for this period of my life although, naturally, I will return to Spain frequently“Said the ex-king, 84 years old.

Insufficient incriminating clues

Juan Carlos went into exile in the capital of the United Arab Emirates in August 2020 on suspicion of embezzlement and for “facilitate the exercise (of) functionsof his son, he recalled in his letter. He was notably targeted by three judicial inquiries in Spain, which were all dismissed.

These investigationsdo not allow criminal action to be taken against His Majesty Juan Carlos de Bourbon (…) in particular because of the lack of incriminating evidence, the prescription of offenses and because of the inviolabilityfrom which he benefited as head of state until 2014, the date of his abdication, according to the public prosecutor. This classification without follow-up, which comes after a similar decision in December of the Swiss justice, opened the way for a possible return to Spain of the former sovereign.

As part of the most important of these investigations, the prosecution sought to determine since December 2018 whether the ex-sovereign had pocketed a commission for the award, in 2011, to a Spanish consortium of the construction of a railway line between Mecca and Medina, Saudi Arabia. “I am aware of the consequences for public opinion of past events in my private life and I sincerely regret them.“, also indicated Juan Carlos in the letter to his son, King Felipe VI. This last “respect and understand the willfrom his father, the royal family said in the statement containing the letter.

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