the king emeritus, John Charles I, came back this Thursday to Spain for the first time after almost two years of residence in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates) and does so in a context of maximum expectation, no longer pending cases in this country and after barely being seen in public in all this time. He is planning a discreet visit to Sanxenxo and will be seen with his son, King Felipe VI, on Monday in Zarzuela. His return has once again highlighted the differences on the political spectrum and within the coalition government, although the President of the Government himself, Pedro Sanchezhas considered on several occasions that Juan Carlos I should give explanations.
the king emeritus spoke last Sunday with his son on the phone in the first known contact since he left in 2020 and, in their conversation, both agreed to meet in Madrid when Don Juan Carlos returned to Spain. They spoke by phone, precisely, during Felipe VI’s visit to Abu Dhabi to convey his condolences for the death of the president of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. But although they coincided in the same country, father and son did not see each otheras they haven’t seen each other for almost two years.
The news of his return and his meeting with Felipe VI has divided into the Spanish political space. Although games like the PP and the PSOE have said to respect the decisions of the Royal House, which is a “personal” decision to see each other, from United We Can and the parliamentary partners of the Government of Pedro Sánchez, as well as the independence movement, have returned to question “the usefulness of the monarchy” and figures such as inviolability and have even demanded that King Juan Carlos make himself “at the disposal” of the Spanish justice when he returns. The PSOE It has been one of the parties, along with PP and Vox, that have vetoed the petition in the past of its coalition partners and other parties in the parliamentary arch (some, investiture partners), to investigate the emeritus in Congress.
The march in 2018: a farewell letter to Felipe VI
Don Juan Carlos left Spain on August 3, 2020 after sending a letter to his son in which he justified his decision as a result of the public repercussion of “certain past events” of his life private.
He moved away from the media spotlight after your finances were on the front page for some supposed commissions worth 85 million euros for interceding in the works of the AVE to Mecca. Money that the king of Saudi Arabia would have donated to him and that he would have admitted to an ‘offshore’ foundation in Panama called Lucum. Some facts that Corinna Larsen had disclosed to the Swiss Prosecutor’s Office, in a 2018 statement in which she stated that Juan Carlos I transferred 65 million euros to her account from said commissions for “gratitude” and ” love” that processed him.
By the time he left Spain, Felipe VI had already been marking distances with his father Y renounced his inheritance after learning that Juan Carlos I had designated him as a beneficiary of the Lucum Foundation. He had learned of this fact in March 2019 and, a couple of months later, the emeritus ended his institutional activity and withdrew from public life. At Christmas 2020the first of the emeritus outside of Spain, Felipe VI made it clear in his Christmas Eve speech “ethical and moral principles” are above “family considerations”. The king has not seen his father since the emeritus left.
Three investigations in Spain and two regularizations to the Treasury
The monarch’s stay in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates did not prevent Juan Carlos’s finances from continuing to dominate the Spanish news. The Supreme Court Prosecutor ended up taking charge of three investigations different: one for the alleged commissions for the AVE to Mecca, another for the alleged use of opaque cards paid for by a Mexican businessman and the last one for the fortune he would have hidden on the island of Jersey.
The pressure was building on Don Juan Carlos, who paid 678,393.72 euros to the Treasury in December 2020 to regularize your tax situation. Two months later he would a second regularization for which he paid more than four million euros for having received some 8 million in payments in kind from the Zagatka foundation, from his cousin Álvaro de Orleans. These payments for money not declared to the Tax Agency raised doubts about their validity, since the monarch made them when he was already aware that his finances were being investigated by the Public Ministry, something that could contravene the principle of “spontaneity” that requires Treasury to validate them.
Nevertheless, In March 2022, the Prosecutor’s Office finally closed all the investigations relating to the king emeritus and giving for good the regularizations, with which settled the causes of Juan Carlos I in Spain. He did so, mainly, due to the inviolability that the king enjoyed when possible crimes were committed before 2014 and due to the prescription of others, although the Public Ministry did make it clear in its resolutions that he had criminal indications in the actions of the emeritus.
A pending case with the British justice system for “harassment” of Corinna
Also the Swiss Public Prosecutor’s Office, who had investigated since 2018 whether Juan Carlos I hid “close to 100 million dollars” in this country from the AVE commissions to Mecca, ended up filing the case.
But Juan Carlos I still has a pending case with the British Justice. And it is that the judge of the Supreme Court of London Matthew Nicklin has rejected the inviolability of Juan Carlos I and has left the door open for the monarch to be tried for harassment from 2012 to Corinne personally or through “agents” at his service, among them the former director of the CNI Félix Sanz Roldán. Some actions that, according to the plaintiff, “threatened” her safety and that of her children and all with the aim, according to her version, that they resume their romantic relationship or return the 65 million euros that she had transferred.
By now, Judge Nicklin has made it clear that “the defendant is neither sovereign nor head of the State of Spain” and, therefore, “has no right to personal immunity”, as well as that the alleged harassment was not part of his institutional activity.
Since leaving Spain, King Juan Carlos has maintained a discreet life away from the camerasalthough it has been rarely captured in images.
The first was right on arrival in abu dhabi and was caught when went down the stairs of the plane wearing a mask. The last one, when her daughters Elena and Cristinaalong with their children they visited Don Juan Carlos in Abu Dhabi last April and they took a picture together.
Before, in December 2021, the king emeritus could be seen in the stands of a tennis match in which Rafa Nadal played. Another exclusive image from El Mundo also showed Don Juan Carlos sharing a table in a restaurant with Nadal and the tennis player Carlos Moya.
The intention of the king emeritusas communicated last March to Felipe VI, is continue to live in Abu Dhabi and frequently visit Spain staying away, yes, from public life and residing in private rooms: “I prefer, at this time, to continue residing permanently and stable in Abu Dhabi, where I have found peace of mind, especially for this period of my life”.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.