Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed abducted daughters, UK court finds
A United Kingdom court has accepted as proved the allegations of abduction, torture, and threats against the billionaire ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum (70). The court established as fact the Sheikh tortured Princess Haya bint al-Hussein (45), believed to be his sixth wife, and ordered the abduction of his two daughters: Shamsa (38) and Latifa (35). Here are more details.
Judge Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Court division in England and Wales, concluded that many of the allegations made by Haya against the Sheikh were true during a custody battle of their children Jalila (12) and Zayed (8). The judge made his conclusions in December, however, they were only published Thursday when the UK Supreme Court denied the Sheikh's request against their publication.
Last year on April 15, Haya—also the half-sister of Jordan's King Abdullah—fled Dubai with Jalila and Zayed, fearing for her safety. At the time, rumors were rife that the Princess had had an affair with one of her British bodyguards. Thereafter, the Sheikh, also the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, applied for the two children to be returned.
Seeking to retain custody of the two kids, Haya submitted that the Sheikh had ordered the abduction of Sheikha Shamsa from the streets of Cambridge in August 2000. The allegations were accepted as proved by Judge McFarlane. The judge also found true the allegation that the Sheikh ordered the forced return of Shamsa's younger sister Latifa from international waters off India in March 2018.
The court concluded that the Sheikh arranged for the Indian forces to capture Latifa from international waters off the Indian coast, in what was her second failed escape attempt. The court also noted that both Sheikh and Latifa were "deprived of their liberty" in Dubai.
The court found that Haya faced a "campaign of fear and intimidation." It also observed that Haya was divorced by the Sheikh on February 7, 2019—the 20th death anniversary of her father, King Hussein of Jordan—to "maximize insult and upset to her." However, the allegation that the Sheikh arranged the marriage of 12-year-old Jalila to Saudi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was not proven.
Judge McFarlane also said the Sheikh denied all allegations against him. The judge, however, observed that the Sheikh had "not been open and honest with the court" in reference to his account regarding the abduction of Shamsa and Latifa. After the court's ruling was made public on Thursday, the Sheikh said that it only depicted "one side of the story." (With Reuters, AFP inputs)