The legal battle between Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed
Ten-day hearing is expected to lead to largest divorce payout in British legal history.
Jordan’s Princess Haya has launched her court bid to claim what experts predict may be a record-breaking divorce settlement from her estranged billionaire husband, Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed.
The ten-day High Court hearing, which began yesterday, “is the biggest divorce case in British legal history”, according to The Times.
Although details of the hearing are currently under wraps, the payout for the princess and her two children by the 72-year-old sheikh “could surpass the record £450m awarded in 2017 to Tatiana Akhmedova”, the former wife of Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov, said the paper.
Dubai royal divorce begins
The biggest divorce case in British legal history began yesterday as a Jordanian princess arrived at court to demand a share of the fortune of the ruler of Dubai. Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein, 47, is seeking a settlement following the collapse of her marriage to Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, 72.
A ten-day hearing at the High Court before Mr Justice Moor will decide the payout for the princess and their two young children.
Details of the hearing, conducted in front of journalists, remain secret at this stage but experts predicted before it started that the settlement could surpass the record £450 million awarded in 2017 to Tatiana Akhmedova, the former wife of the Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov. That award was reduced to £150 million in July.
Lawyer of the week: Sarah Palin, who acted so journalists could publish judgments on Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum’s custody hearings
Sarah Palin at Doughty Street Chambers acted successfully for nine newspapers and broadcasters, including The Times, so they could publish judgments on the custody hearings between the ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, and his former wife, Princess Haya bint al-Hussein. The senior family judge ruled that Mohammed had hacked the phones of Princess Haya and her lawyers.
French Captain to File Suit Over 2018 Capture of Dubai Princess, Case to ‘Also be Against India’
Narendra Modi is accused of authorizing Indian navy commandos to capture Princess Latifa on the high seas after speaking to Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed.
Herve Jaubert is a former French naval intelligence officer who captained the US-registered yacht, Nostromo, on which Princess Latifa, daughter of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed, was attempting to escape from her father’s clutches in February-March 2018. A London high court judgment in December 2019 ruled that she was thwarted by Indian armed forces in international waters in the Arabian Sea at Mohammed’s instigation.
“The description of the way in which Latifa was treated by the Indian security services and also, once the Arabic man [her father’s agent] had identified her, does not give any indication that this was a ‘rescue’ [Mohammed’s argument] rather than a ‘capture’,” was the court’s verdict.
Polo club urged to cut ties with sheikh over ‘hacking’
An exclusive club closely associated with the royal family has been urged to sever its links with the ruler of Dubai after a judge found he had orchestrated the hacking of mobile phones.
The Guards Polo Club was founded by the Duke of Edinburgh in 1955 and Princes Charles, William and Harry have all played at its headquarters at Windsor Great Park. The Queen is a regular visitor.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, 72, the ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, is also a regular guest.
Dubai ruler’s ‘campaign of fear and intimidation’ against Princess Haya
Findings of UK high court judge have repercussions beyond the Gulf state.
So bad were relations between Princess Haya and her estranged husband Dubai’s billionaire ruler that she felt “hunted all the time” and that there was “nowhere for me to go to be safe”, even in the UK, where she had built a new life after their relationship imploded.
The bitterness of the battle between her and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum became clear in eleven explosive court rulings made public in London this week that threaten to tarnish the international reputation of one of the Gulf’s most important leaders.
The rulings set out how Sheikh Mohammed was “prepared to use the arm of the UAE State to achieve his own aims in relation to the women in his family” and to wage a wider “campaign of fear and intimidation” against Princess Haya.
Sheikh Mohammed: Reopen ‘hacking’ case, Met urged
Scotland Yard faces growing pressure to reopen an investigation into alleged phone hacking by the ruler of Dubai.
Detectives closed the inquiry eight months before a High Court ruling was made public on Wednesday. It found that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum had orchestrated a sophisticated spyware attack.
The Crown Prosecution Service said yesterday that it gave legal advice to the police but had not ordered its investigation to be closed. A spokesman said: “Following a request by the Metropolitan Police, we gave some general advice on an investigation related to phone hacking. The decision to end the investigation was made by the police.”
A legal source said that the hundreds of pages of legal rulings and other documents released on Wednesday could implicate suspects not protected by diplomatic immunity.
Cherie Blair is adviser to NSO, the firm behind Pegasus spyware
Cherie Blair faces scrutiny about her work for a secretive company behind a spyware system despite exposing its use in the hacking of a Conservative peer.
The wife of Tony Blair, the former Labour leader, is an ethics adviser to NSO, the Israeli intelligence company behind Pegasus spyware.
She called Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia in August last year saying that the divorce lawyer and her client, the former wife of the ruler of Dubai, appeared to have been victims of hacking. Blair, 67, a QC, told the High Court that she had been contacted “at nearly midnight Israeli time” by NSO and informed that “their software may have been misused to monitor the phone of Baroness Shackleton and her client, Her Royal Highness Princess Haya”.
The Times view on Sheikh Mohammed and our ties with the UAE: Questionable Allies
Dubai’s ruler faces a criminal investigation over the hacking of a Tory peer’s phone.
British judge’s conclusion that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum used sophisticated spyware to hack the phone of his estranged wife’s lawyer will only deepen the acrimony in what was already a bitter custody battle. But the news that Dubai’s ruler now faces an investigation by Scotland Yard will be met with particular dismay in the corridors of Whitehall, still ringing with celebration over the United Arab Emirates’ £10 billion investment in British infrastructure. That deal was hailed by Downing Street as a critical show of confidence in post-Brexit Britain and a mark of the strong and developing relationship with the UAE.
For a close ally, the UAE has long had a problematic human rights record, in common with other Gulf states. Indeed, too often in recent years the UAE has not behaved as an ally at all, including in 2018 when Dubai police arrested the British academic Matthew Hedges and sentenced him to life imprisonment for spying. In fact, the UAE had spied on him, allegedly hacking both his phone and that of the lawyer trying to win his freedom.
Sheikh Mohammed hacked Baroness Shackleton’s mobile phone, rules judge
The government was urged last night to review its diplomatic relationship with one of its closest Middle East allies after a judge implicated its ruler in the hacking of a Tory peer’s mobile phone.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum of Dubai, a member of the Queen’s racing circle, faces a renewed police investigation into the use of the Pegasus spyware program. Victims include his former wife, Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, 47, and her lawyer, Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia.
Scotland Yard, the National Crime Agency and Black Rod, who oversees administration of the House of Lords, have been informed of the hacking.