Former King of Spain Juan Carlos in self-exile in Abu Dhabi
10 August 2020
Former Spanish king Juan Carlos who is alleged to be involved in a financial scandal involving Saudi Arabia, is currently staying at Abu Dhabi’s exclusive Emirates Palace Hotel after leaving Spain aboard a private jet on Monday, the ABC newspaper said.
Juan Carlos, 82, abruptly announced his decision to leave Spain on Monday but there has been no official confirmation of his whereabouts, ABC newspaper reported.
The newspaper said a private plane en route from Paris to Abu Dhabi stopped off in the northwestern Spanish city of Vigo to pick up Juan Carlos, four security guards and one other person on Monday morning.
Upon arrival at Abu Dhabi’s Al Bateen airport, the ex-king and his entourage were flown by helicopter to the government-owned Hotel Emirates Palace, according to ABC, a pro-monarchy Spanish daily.
Spain's monarchy, which is funded by taxpayers, is beset by scandals and mounting corruption allegations.
A palace spokesman said he did not know where Juan Carlos was. The former king’s lawyer and the government have all declined to say where Juan Carlos is.
United Arab Emirates officials and the Emirates Palace Hotel also declined to reveal the king’s whereabouts.
The former monarch is not formally under investigation and has repeatedly declined to comment on the allegations.
However, Spain’s Supreme Court in June opened a preliminary investigation into Juan Carlos’ involvement in a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia, after Switzerland’s La Tribune de Geneve newspaper reported he had received $100 million from the late Saudi king. Switzerland has also opened an investigation.
Spain and Abu Dhabi have an extradition agreement, signed by Juan Carlos himself in 2010.