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Dubai Sheikh threatened his wife, abducted his daughters, judge rules

With Secret Ink - London

Sir Andrew McFarlane , the president of the family division of the High Court , said Sheikh Mohammed had ‘ordered and orchestrated’ the abduction and forced return to Dubai of Sheikha Shamsa in August 2000 and of her sister Sheikha Latifa twice, in 2002 and again in 2018.

Sir Andrew McFarlane also found that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 70, “acted in a manner from the end of 2018 which has been aimed at intimidating and frightening” his ex-wife Princess Haya, 45.

The threats continued after the princess moved to London, the judge said, adding that the Sheikh had used the apparatus of the state “to threaten, intimidate, mistreat and oppress with a total disregard for the rule of law.”

The judge made rulings in December and January after a battle between the estranged spouses over the welfare of their two children, but the Sheikh fought to prevent them from being made public. The U.K Supreme Court quashed that attempt on Thursday.

Princess Haya also alleged that Sheikh Mohammed had made arrangements for their daughter Jalila , then aged 11 ,to be married to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman. The judge said the hearsay evidence for that allegation fell “well short of the required standard” of proof.

McFarlane supported the allegation that “on two occasions in June 2002 and February 2018, the father ordered and orchestrated the forcible return of his daughter Latifa, now 35, to the family home in Dubai. In 2002 the return was from the border of Dubai with Oman, and in 2018 it was by an armed commando assault at sea near the coast of India.”

The judge said Shamsa, now 38, was abducted from the streets of Cambridge and “has been deprived of her liberty for much if not all of the past two decades.”

In a statement issued after the judgements were published, Sheikh Mohammed said: “As a head of government, I was not able to participate in the court’s fact-finding process. This has resulted in the release of a ‘fact-finding’ judgment which inevitably only tells one side of the story.”

He insisted the case was a private matter. “I ask that the media respect the privacy of our children and do not intrude into their lives in the UK,” he said

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