Emeritus King Juan Carlos continues to live in Abu Dhabi

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MADRID – All investigations into the financial and tax activities of King Emeritus Juan Carlos have been halted. This was announced by the Spanish and Swiss prosecutors. Consequently, that means Juan Carlos may be able to return to Spain.

On March 7, the royal family published a letter from Juan Carlos to his son King Felipe VI on the website. In it, he alludes to the opportunity to visit Spain sporadically, while continuing to live in Abu Dhabi.

However, on Wednesday 9 March, El País came up with the story that the royal house itself would have dictated the letter. It was the king’s lawyer, Javier Sánchez-Junco, and the former director of the National Intelligence Service (CNI), General Félix Sanz Roldán, who brought the draft of the letter to Juan Carlos.

In Abu Dhabi far away from Justice

In August 2020, the former Spanish king left Spain in order not to further tarnish the image of the Spanish royal family with his alleged fraudulent practices. Since then, Juan Carlos has lived in Abu Dhabi, where he now also wants to make his ‘permanent’ and ‘stable’ base.

In Spain, the Justice Department conducted several investigations into Juan Carlos’ assets and cash flows. He would have interfered in the sale of contracts for the construction of a high-speed train in Saudi Arabia in exchange for a large commission.

See also: Emeritus king wants to return to Spain this year

The Justice Department dropped the cases against the ex-king for several reasons. Incriminating evidence would be lacking and the immunity of the head of state was in the way.

Prime Minister disappointed with letter

Prime Minister Sanchez has reacted with disappointment to the letter. Sánchez demands more explanation from the emeritus king who – in his view – “owes an explanation to the Spaniards”. The prime minister is referring to the information about the alleged tax missteps. On previous occasions, he has described these missteps as “disturbing”.

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The emeritus king should “clarify” all the information from the prosecution’s report. This portrays a range of behaviours. However, the head of government leaves it to Juan Carlos to provide the explanations he requested. “I’m not going to go into the how, he has to decide that.”

The letter

Juan Carlos addresses ‘his’ letter “Your Majesty, dear son”. Commenting on the dismissed investigations of Swiss Justice, he says the following:

” Knowing the Decrees of the State Attorney General’s Office, by which the investigations to which I have been the subject are archived, it seems appropriate to consider my return to Spain, although not immediately. I prefer, at this time, for reasons that belong to my private sphere and that only affect me, to continue residing permanently and stable in Abu Dhabi. Here I have found peace of mind, especially for this period of my life. Although, naturally, I will frequently return to Spain, which I always carry in my heart, to visit family and friends.

In this way, I would like to end this stage of my life from the serenity and perspective that time has elapsed. As you well know, in 2019 I informed you of my desire to withdraw from public life. I will continue to do so. In this sense, both during my visits and if I were to reside in Spain again in the future, it is my purpose to organise my personal life and my place of residence in areas of a private nature in order to continue enjoying the greatest possible privacy.

I am aware of the importance of public opinion of past events in my private life and that I sincerely regret, as I also feel legitimate pride in my contribution to democratic coexistence and freedom in Spain, the result of the collective effort and sacrifice of all Spanish people.”

Under the letter, the royal family gives an official reaction. It explains that the current king “respects and understands the will of His Majesty Don Juan Carlos.”

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