A London court ruled Thursday that the ruler of Dubai had instilled fear in his estranged wife and had choreographed the kidnapping of their two young daughters.
At the end of 2018, Britain's High Court said, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, 70, began a campaign of intimidation against his ex-wife, Princess Haya, 45, daughter of late King Hussein of Jordan. The princess had become the sheikh's second official wife and bore him two daughters, Jalila, 12, and Zayed, 8.
In April 2019, Princess Haya escaped with her children to Britain, fearing her husband’s threats. High Court of London Judge Andrew McFarlane said the sheikh’s actions were meant “to threaten, intimidate, mistreat and oppress with a total disregard for the rule of law.”
By May 2019, Princess Haya had requested that her daughters be made wards of the British court in order to deflect the legal actions Sheikh Mohammed was conducting to try to get the children returned to him in Dubai. He eventually dropped his legal bid to stop the court from issuing Princess Haya a fact-finding judgment.
Though Princess Haya is Sheikh Mohammed’s second wife, the sheikh has had multiple unofficial marriages and a total of 25 children.
Another daughter, Latifa, 35, tried to escape her father twice, in June 2002 and February 2018. Both times, she was forcibly brought back to Dubai and her father’s custody to be held prisoner.
“[Shamsa] has been deprived of her liberty for much if not all of the past two decades,” McFarlane said regarding another one of Sheikh Mohammed’s daughters, who was abducted from Cambridge at age 19. She is now 38 and no investigation has been approved to look into her disappearance.