Former Spanish king Juan Carlos I arrived in the United Arab Emirates on August 3rd and has been there ever since, according to Spain's royal palace. In a short statement, the Zarzuela palace notes that: "[Former] king Juan Carlos has instructed the house of his majesty the king Felipe VI to communicate that on August 3rd this month he moved to the United Arab Emirates, where he remains at present," as the Spanish press agency EFE reports this Monday afternoon.
El rey Juan Carlos I llegó el pasado 3 de agosto a Emiratos Árabes Unidos y permanece allí desde entonceshttps://t.co/NXTXzeBIkB— EFE Noticias (@EFEnoticias) August 17, 2020
The whereabouts of Spain's king emeritus had been unknown for the two weeks since Monday 3rd August, when the royal palace had issued another statement, communicating the decision of Juan Carlos to leave Spain and make his residence in another country. A decision, he said, which he had made in the face of the public repercussions of "certain past events" in his private life, and to protect his son the reigning monarch.
Since the appearance of that statement, there had been speculation about several possible destinations for the scandal-mired former king, such as Portugal and the Dominican Republic. However, a few days later, a photo was published of him apparently disembarking at the airport in Abu Dhabi, capital of the United Arab Emirates, which is, finally, where the 82-year old Spanish royal has chosen to reside for the moment.
Spanish prime minister, Pedro Sánchez, asked repeatedly about the issue during the fortnight, had refused to reveal the destination of the former monarch and said last week that it was up to the royal house or the "affected person" himself to communicate. And days after that message, it has indeed been the royal palace that has finally broken its fifteen days of silence to confirm Juan Carlos's location.
Public prosecutors from both Switzerland and Spain are investigating the emeritus for alleged irregular business activities - specifically, for allegedly receiving commissions for the construction by Spanish firms of the high speed train between Mecca and Medina, in Saudi Arabia.