- Dubai ruler and his Jordanian royal wife are locked in legal battle over children
- Princess Haya wants order preventing children from suffering forced marriage
- Also cites cases of Sheikh’s missing daughters Latifa and Shamsa in needing aid
- Shamsa was grabbed from the streets of Cambridge in 2000 and not seen since
- Latifa was found smuggled inside a yacht heading from Oman to India in 2018
- Human rights groups say princesses must be called as witnesses to High Court
The High Court battle between Princess Haya and Dubai’s billionaire ruler could unlock the truth about two of his children who vanished and are allegedly imprisoned in his Gulf state.
Princess Shamsa was last seen in 2000 after running from a Surrey mansion while Princess Latifa was intercepted in 2018 trying to escape Sheikh Maktoum by fleeing to Goa smuggled in a yacht sailed by a man who once left Dubai in a burka to avoid arrest.
Haya, 45, ran from Dubai in May and cited what happened to Shamsa, 38, and Latifa, 33, who are daughters from one of his other six wives.
She has now begged a London judge for a forced marriage protection order in relation to their two children. A £4.5billion divorce case is expected to follow, also in London.
Latifa’s best friend Tiina Jauhiainen, 41, a glamorous Finnish martial artist, and Marcus Essabri, Sheikh Mohammed’s nephew, have been at the High Court supporting Haya this week – but her estranged husband has stayed away.
David Haigh from the Free Latifa Campaign and human rights group Detained International, says he hopes Princess Haya’s lawyers led by Baroness Shackleton will try to call Latifa and Shamsa as witnesses to highlight the sisters’ own plight.
Even if they cannot appear Mr Haigh believes a British court could reveal details about where they are being held and their mental and physical well-being including whether they are in prison and sedated.
He told ABC News: ‘If an English judge is deciding whether it’s safe to send two young children that are currently in England to the Middle East, to their father, then his past behaviour to his other children is clearly going to be very important.
‘For the first time in the last 18 months, [Latifa’s] case is going to be looked at by a proper court in a proper jurisdiction in an open hearing’.
Princess Haya has applied for a non-molestation order – designed to help victims of domestic violence keep abusers away – because Sheikh Mohammed is reportedly seeking the return of his two children, who are minors, with his estranged wife, to Dubai.
Jordan-born royal Haya said the plight of Latifa and Shamsa forced her to flee and seek refuge in the UK.
Princess Latifa disappearance last year came 18 years after her sister Princess Shamsa vanished. They share the same mother, Princess Houria Ahmed Lamara, from Algeria.
Shamsa was living at her father’s multi-million pound Surrey mansion in 2000 when she escaped.
The 19-year-old went into hiding for six weeks but was grabbed in the street 100 miles away in Cambridge.
She was flown by private jet back to Dubai where she hasn’t been seen or heard of since.
Then in February last year Princess Latifa Maktoum, 33, fled Dubai to seek political asylum.
The Princess had first contacted skipper Jean-Pierre Hervé Jaubert, 62, at his home in the Philippines after reading how he had fled from Dubai in 2008 amid accusations of corruption by dressing up in a burka to fool immigration agents.
Jaubert agreed to help and after months of secret communications with the Princess he was in place off the Oman coast by the end of February after she drove there with her best friend Tiina.
Ms Jauhiainen and the Princess were picked up by Jaubert from a secluded beach on a jet ski and taken to the yacht.
After a week at sea, Jaubert claims they were being tracked by reconnaissance planes and 50miles off Goa they were boarded by the Indian coastguard.
The 62-year-old was beaten, blindfolded and interrogated for hours under the threat of death after being seized by soldiers acting on the orders of the billionaire ruler of Dubai, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum , he claims.