SPAIN’S former King Juan Carlos has said he will remain for now in the United Arab Emirates but will visit Spain frequently after fraud investigations against him were dropped.
Scandal-hit Juan Carlos, 84, who left Spain for the UAE in August 2020, has been the subject of multiple money-laundering investigations by Spanish and Swiss authorities for the past two years.
The Spanish prosecutor’s office had been investigating Juan Carlos for allegedly receiving kickbacks linked to Spain’s high-speed train contract in Saudi Arabia.
The decision to drop the probes – which followed a similar move by Swiss prosecutors late last year – came after investigators failed to find sufficient evidence of criminal activity.
The decision to drop the investigations led to speculation that the former monarch was considering returning to Spain.
But a statement from Spain’s Royal Palace of Madrid appeared to rule that out.
“For reasons that remain private and that only affect me, I prefer in this moment to continue living in a permanent and stable way in Abu Dhabi, where I have found tranquillity,” wrote Juan Carlos to his son King Felipe VI.
He added that he will return frequently to Spain to visit family and friends but will stay in private accommodation.
“I am totally aware of the importance for public opinion of past events in my private life and that I sincerely regret, as I also feel legitimate pride in my contribution towards the democratic coexistence and freedom in Spain,” he wrote.
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