The former king of Spain, Juan Carlos, chose exile. On August 3, 2020, he announced his departure from Spain, due to suspicions of corruption hanging over him and starting to have repercussions on his son, King Felipe. After days of wondering what would be the 92-year-old former ruler’s first destination, he was reportedly spotted in Abu Dhabi and staying in a 5-star palace. But his departure could be called into question if a Spanish judge requests his extradition. According to historian Benoît Pellistrandi, the facts alleged against Juan Carlos dating from before his abdication on June 18, 2014, cannot be judged. Indeed, he is protected by his constitutional immunity. Thus, it is tax fraud that is held against him and not questions of embezzlement.
“He is not going into exile and has clearly said that he is at the disposal of justice,” commented the historian in the columns of Le Figaro. He does not in any way want to give the impression of fleeing justice. He just hopes that by distancing himself from Spain, he won’t continue to overshadow his son. But despite everything, Juan Carlos could be prosecuted by Spanish justice and be the subject of a trial. He could then get a heavy fine and a prison sentence, “which is difficult to imagine because of his age”. But Benoît Pellistrandi does not believe at all in the chances that a trial will succeed. “The risk of institutional destabilization of Spain would be too high.”
Juan Carlos enjoys the first days away from Spain
In the meantime, it is therefore in the greatest zenitude that Juan Carlos enjoys his first days away from his country. While he left without his wife, Sofia, who did not wish to follow him, he seems to spend all his time in the luxury hotel in which he has found refuge and whose room prices vary between 1000 to 10,000 euros per night.
King Juan Carlos of Spain and Princess Elena attend ‘Corrida de la Beneficencia’ at Las Ventas bull © © Dana Press / KCS