Judge: Dubai ruler threatened wife, had daughters abducted

US & World
Haya bint al-Hussein

FILE – In this Sunday, Jan 17, 2016 file photo, Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, the wife of the Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, attends a press conference in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. A British court has found that the ruler of Dubai conducted a campaign of fear and intimidation against his estranged wife and ordered the abduction of two of his daughters, documents unsealed Thursday, March 5, 2020 show. (AP Photo/Martin Dokoupil, file)

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LONDON (AP) — A British court found that the ruler of Dubai conducted a campaign of fear and intimidation against his estranged wife and ordered the abduction of two of his daughters, documents unsealed Thursday show.

A judge at the High Court in London ruled 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.

Judge Andrew McFarlane said the sheikh “ordered and orchestrated” the abductions and forced return to Dubai of two of his adult daughters from another marriage: Sheikha Shamsa, then 19, in August 2000, and Sheikha Latifa in 2002 and again in 2018.

The judge made the ruling in January but the sheikh fought to prevent it from being made public. The U.K Supreme Court quashed that attempt on Thursday.

The Dubai ruler and his ex-wife have been battling in a British court over the welfare of the two children they have together.

The sheikh’s lawyers had sought the children’s return to Dubai, while Princess Haya asked for them to be made wards of the British court and stay in the U.K.

Princess Haya, daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, moved to London last year and applied to the court for protective orders, using British laws intended to safeguard victims of forced marriage and domestic abuse. The forced marriage protection was requested for her daughter.

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