On Monday, Spain’s interior minister, Marlaska, confirmed that the Spanish government was still providing protection for former King Juan Carlos I, who fled the country last week over allegations of corruption and money laundering. He is believed to have settled in a luxury hotel in Abu Dhabi. The cost per night is over €10,000.
Marlaska: “It is reasonable and timely that the Minister of the Interior does not give any information about it [where the King is], but what no one can forget is that we are talking about the person who was the head of State in Spain. His security obviously concerns the Spanish state.”
PM Pedro Sánchez affirmed that he didn’t know the whereabouts of the monarch, but the minister of the interior’s statements suggests his administration is closely monitoring the former king’s steps.
Last week, the state-owned public broadcaster RTVE revealed that the government had been negotiating the self-imposed exile of the monarch with the Royal House over a period of weeks, meaning it had helped the monarch to flee the country.
Juan Carlos is under investigation in Spain for his role in a deal in which a Spanish consortium landed a €6.7 billion contract to build a high-speed rail line between the Saudi cities of Medina and Mecca.
Swiss prosecutors are also investigating a $100 million bank account held by the monarch in the country. According to the investigations, Juan Carlos allegedly received a “donation” of $100 million from the king of Saudi Arabia that he put in an offshore account in 2008. A few years later, he allegedly “gifted” 65 of those millions from that account to his ex-lover Corinna Larsen.
It is still too early to know whether Swiss and Spanish justice will convict the former king, Juan Carlos I, of corruption and money laundering. However, this case has already shown that the Spanish government has helped someone under investigation over corruption and money laundering to flee the country and is still providing him protection. There is, then, little doubt the Spanish administration is trying to shore up the 78 regime.