Former Spanish king Juan Carlos is reportedly staying at a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi after going into self-imposed exile, The Independent reported.
According to the paper Juan Carlos took a private plane from the northwestern city of Vigo with four bodyguards to the Gulf Emirate, where he was then taken by helicopter to the state-run Emirates Palace hotel.
There was no official confirmation of the former monarch’s whereabouts, amid speculation that the 82-year-old had fled to Portugal or the Dominican Republic.
Officials in the United Arab Emirates and at the Emirates Palace hotel did not respond to requests for comment.
Juan Carlos announced that he would leave Spain in a letter to his son and current king Felipe VI. The former monarch said he decided to move because of “the public consequences of some episodes of my past personal life.”
“Guided by my desire to do what best serves the Spanish people, their institutions and you as king, I inform you of my … decision to leave Spain at this time,” Juan Carlos said. He wrote that his “legacy and my own dignity require it to be so” and said he did not want to complicate his son’s role.
Authorities in Spain and Switzerland are investigating Juan Carlos over allegations that the late Saudi king Abdullah gave him millions of euros as an alleged bribe for a contract to build a high-speed railway. It is alleged that he transferred a large amount of money to a former mistress, which investigators are considering as a possible attempt to hide payments from the authorities.
The expulsion of the once popular but now scandal-tainted honorary king, as he became known after his abdication, has stunned Spaniards and caused them to disagree over whether the 82-year-old should remain on trial.
Lawyers for Juan Carlos, who is not being formally investigated, said he remains happy to cooperate with prosecutors in the future, and Abu Dhabi also has an extradition Treaty with Spain in case he is eventually charged.
Early anticorr.media reported that Former king of Spain Juan Carlos was at the center of the scandal: the public was presented with audio recordings of his former girlfriend Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, which give reason to believe that he was involved in fraud and money laundering schemes.