İrem UZUN -TDO- Juan Carlos, the former king of Spain who went into exile this month in the face of corruption allegations, is in the United Arab Emirates, the royal palace said on Monday, ending the mystery on his whereabouts. The 82-year-old man "travelled to the United Arab Emirates on August 3 and he remains there", the spokesman of the palace said without giving further details.

Juan Carlos abdicated in 2014 after close to 40 years in power and handed power to his son Felipe. His decision to give up the throne came after a corruption investigation involving his daughter's husband and a controversial elephant hunting trip the monarch took during Spain's financial crisis. In June this year, Spain's Supreme Court launched an investigation into Juan Carlos's alleged involvement in a high-speed rail contract in Saudi Arabia, after the ex-king lost his immunity from prosecution following his abdication. The former king is said to have travelled to the UAE on several occasions since his abdication in 2014. He is reported to be close to a number of key figures including the UAE's de facto leader, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan.

The former monarch has repeatedly declined to comment on the subject. He denies any wrongdoing and has said he is available if prosecutors need to interview him.  Justice Minister Juan Carlos Campo said the former king would return to Spain to respond to judges if required. “I’m convinced that when justice calls him, he will attend,” Campo said.

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