Calls for billionaire Dubai ruler to face UK justice over kidnap of his daughter from UK streets amid claims Labour’s Robin Cook shut down police probe against him as a ‘diplomatic favour’
- The ruler of Dubai ordered henchmen to abduct Princess Shamsa, a judge found
- The teenager said guards injected her with sedatives and rendered her to Dubai
- Yet when Cambridgeshire police launched a criminal probe, it was allegedly shut down amid ‘interference’ by the Foreign Office – as a diplomatic favour
- British authorities are facing pressure to bring the Gulf state monarch to justice
Ministers helped a billionaire sheikh get away with the kidnap of his daughter from the streets of Britain, the High Court has heard, and now British authorities are facing pressure to bring the Gulf state monarch to justice.
The ruler of Dubai, a friend of the Queen and close UK ally, ordered henchmen to abduct Princess Shamsa from Cambridge in 2000, a judge found.
The teenager said armed bodyguards grabbed her, injected her with sedatives and rendered her to Dubai, where she was tortured.
Yet when Cambridgeshire police launched a criminal probe, it was allegedly shut down amid ‘interference’ by the Foreign Office – as a diplomatic favour.
In an astonishing ruling, Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum, one of the world’s richest men, is today also exposed as having waged a campaign of ‘fear and intimidation’ against his youngest wife, Princess Haya, who fled to Britain last year fearing that he would kill her.
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum attend Derby day at Epsom Derby festival at Epsom Downs on June 3, 2017 in Epsom
The High Court said billionaire Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – a friend of the Queen – had Princess Shamsa (pictured) abducted from Cambridge after she went on the run in 2000
The court found he masterminded behaviour which, on the balance of probabilities, potentially runs ‘contrary to the criminal law of England and Wales, international law and internationally accepted human rights norms’.
Now for the first time, the alleged kidnap cover-up under Tony Blair’s government of 2000 can be reported.
At the time, Labour was supposedly pursuing an ‘ethical foreign policy’. But now it is alleged the then foreign secretary Robin Cook, who died in 2005, effectively shut down a serious criminal inquiry into a helpless girl’s kidnapping.
Shamsa had begged British detectives to save her, but they were forced to drop the case.
In an explosive ruling following a 10-month High Court child custody battle between the sheikh and Princess Haya, it can be revealed:
- The court found the sheikh responsible for kidnapping Shamsa from Cambridge in 2000.
- He also sent commandos to abduct another runaway daughter, Princess Latifa, during her escape bid in 2018, the court found.
- Both princesses were locked in a Dubai palace and remain imprisoned to this day.
- Oxford-educated Princess Haya fled with their two young children to London after discovering the truth about Shamsa and Latifa.
- She feared her daughter Princess Jalila was being lined up for a forced marriage aged 11 to the notorious Saudi crown prince accused of killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
- Sheikh Maktoum also discovered his wife was having an affair with her British bodyguard.
Public officials are now facing pressure to bring the sheikh to justice, after a judge found that he orchestrated the abduction.
Now it is alleged the then foreign secretary Robin Cook, who died in 2005, effectively shut down a serious criminal inquiry into a helpless girl’s kidnapping
Following the judge’s ruling, Shami Chakrabarti, Labour shadow attorney general, said: ‘This is clearly a shocking judgment. Both Priti Patel and Dominic Raab must urgently investigate why a criminal inquiry into a kidnap in Cambridge appears to have been impeded.’
The British lawyer for Princess Latifa, David Haigh told the Guardian he would be submitting the judgment to the United Nations’ working group on enforced or involuntary disappearances.
‘We are delighted with the judgment,’ he said. ‘It’s vindication for everything we have been saying, vindication for Shamsa, Latifa and Haya.’
Haigh added that he and Latifa’s close friend Tiina Jauhiainen were interviewed by Cambridge police in late 2019.
He said: ‘It is now clear to see why Sheikh Mohammed did not want these judgments to be made available to the world. They show him as someone unfit to be in charge of children, let alone a state that is an ally of the UK.’
Princess Haya is pictured at the Court of Appeal with Baroness Fiona Shackleton, February 28
First the High Court, then the Appeal Court and then the Supreme Court all threw out his bid for secrecy, ruling the world should know what Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the family division of the High Court, had concluded about his ‘criminal’ behaviour
Today’s bombshell revelations come after Sheikh Maktoum lost a desperate bid to keep the case secret. He hired eight top British QCs at enormous cost but they have not been able to stop his humiliation.
First the High Court, then the Appeal Court and then the Supreme Court all threw out his bid for secrecy, ruling the world should know what Sir Andrew McFarlane, the president of the family division of the High Court, had concluded about his ‘criminal’ behaviour.
In a victory for open justice, it can be revealed that the Gulf ruler’s own ex-wife fought against him for the public’s right to know the ‘evil’ secrets of the Dubai royal family.
A million Britons visit the United Arab Emirates, of which Dubai is part, each year. The 70-year-old sheikh owns Godolphin stables, a favourite of the Queen, in Newmarket, Suffolk. He and Princess Haya, 45, his sixth and youngest wife, are regulars at Royal Ascot.
Last April, Princess Haya fled in their private Boeing 737 to Britain with their children, Princess Jalila, 12, and Prince Zayed, eight. They are now holed up in an £85million mansion in central London.
The sheikh – who is worth £14billion – launched a High Court case to demand the ‘summary return’ of his son and daughter, but it has backfired spectacularly, with him losing his children and his wife, and his standing as an international statesman.
Oxford-educated Princess Haya mounted her own escape from Dubai after discovering the truth about Shamsa and Latifa
Now for the first time, the alleged kidnap cover-up under Tony Blair’s government of 2000 can be reported
Oxford-educated Princess Haya mounted her own escape from Dubai after discovering the truth about Shamsa and Latifa.
Sir Andrew heard evidence from former Cambridgeshire Detective Chief Inspector David Beck who investigated Shamsa’s abduction and had requested official permission to visit Dubai to interview her.
Charles Geekie, a QC for Princess Haya, told the High Court there was ‘interference’ in the police inquiry and ‘a direct interest being expressed by the foreign secretary’.
The Foreign Office has since admitted it ‘does hold relevant information’ on the case, but claimed it ‘would be likely to prejudice relations between the UK and other states if it was disclosed’.
In his ruling, Sir Andrew said: ‘The allegations that the father ordered and orchestrated the kidnap and rendition to Dubai of his daughters Shamsa and Latifa are of a very high order of seriousness. I have found he continues to maintain a regime whereby both of these young women are deprived of their liberty.’
Sir Andrew said Haya wanted him to conclude Dubai had ‘made representations’ to the Foreign Office ‘to bring an end to the investigation’ but it was not possible to prove this.
The sheikh did not appear or call any witnesses during the court case, and has not appealed against the findings.
Last night he said: ‘This case concerns highly personal and private matters relating to our children. The appeal was made to protect the best interests and welfare of the children. The outcome does not protect my children from media attention in the way that other children in family proceedings in the UK are protected. 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.’
Timeline of the legal battle between Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his wife Princess Haya bint Al Hussain
The High Court in London has published rulings relating to the legal battle between Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and his former wife Princess Haya bint Al Hussain of Jordan.
Here is a timeline of events in the case.
July 15, 1949 – Sheikh Mohammed is born in Dubai.
May 3, 1974 – Princess Haya born in Amman, Jordan.
August 15, 1981 – Princess Shamsa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is born to Sheikh Mohammed, who has several wives.
December 5, 1985 – Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is born.
Summer 2000 – During a visit to England, Shamsa runs away from her family and seeks immigration advice to try and stay in the UK.
August 2000 – Shamsa is taken from the streets of Cambridge by men working for her father.
She is taken to her father’s home in Newmarket, before being taken by helicopter to France and then to Dubai. She has not been seen in public since.
March 2001 – A woman claiming to be Shamsa contacts Cambridgeshire Police, saying she has been taken from England to Dubai.
December 2001 – The Guardian publishes an article suggesting Shamsa has been abducted from the UK.
April 2004 – Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya are married.
December 2, 2007 – Al Jalila born.
January 7, 2012 – Zayed born.
February/March 2018 – A video of Latifa is uploaded to the internet, in which she gives a detailed account of important events in her life. She also describes what she knows about her sister Shamsa’s time in England and her subsequent abduction.
December 6, 2018 – The BBC broadcasts a documentary called Escape From Dubai: The Mystery Of The Missing Princess.
February 7, 2019 – Sheikh Mohammed divorces Princess Haya under sharia law without her knowledge. She says this date, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of her father’s death, is deliberately chosen to ‘maximise insult and upset to her’.
April 15 – Princess Haya travels to the UK with Jalila and Zayed.
May 14 – Sheikh Mohammed issues proceedings at the High Court in London seeking the summary return of his two children with Princess Haya to Dubai.
May 22 – First High Court hearing before Mr Justice Moor – the media, who are unaware of the hearing or even the proceedings, do not attend.
July 16 – On the eve of a ‘scoping hearing’ to consider media issues before Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division of the High Court, Princess Haya issues applications to make the children wards of court, for a forced marriage protection order and for a non-molestation order.
July 17 – Three journalists attend and lawyers for Sheikh Mohammed apply for them to be excluded. Sir Andrew says the hearing is relatively short while those in court ‘simply scope out what lies before us’ and to consider what information, if any, should be given to the media. The judge adds that the parties will issue a short statement explaining the nature of the proceedings.
July 18 – With the permission of the court, the parties release the following statement: ‘The parties to these proceedings are HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein. These proceedings are concerned with the welfare of the two children of their marriage and do not concern divorce or finances.’
July 30 – At a hearing to work out issues, including the question of media reporting and to how to proceed to a final hearing to determine the welfare issues, Sir Andrew allows the media to report that Sheikh Mohammed has applied for the summary return of the children to Dubai, and that Princess Haya has applied for the children to be made wards of court, for a non-molestation order and a forced marriage protection order.
November 12-13 – Sir Andrew conducts a hearing to make findings of fact in relation to Princess Haya’s allegations against Sheikh Mohammed.
December 11 – The judge delivers his ruling on the fact-finding hearing. However, strict reporting restrictions preventing its publication remain in force.
January 17, 2020 – The judge delivers a ruling on a series of ‘assurances and waivers’ given by Sheikh Mohammed to Princess Haya. He also conducts a hearing to determine whether his earlier rulings should be made public.
January 27 – Sir Andrew concludes that his earlier rulings should be published, but the publication is postponed pending a Court of Appeal challenge by Sheikh Mohammed to this decision.
February 26 – The Court of Appeal hears Sheikh Mohammed’s challenge.
February 28 – Three leading judges dismiss his appeal and refuse to grant him permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. The stay on publication remains in force to give the father chance to make a fresh challenge to the Supreme Court.
March 5 – The Supreme Court announces that it has refused permission to appeal and all previous rulings are made public.
The judge’s conclusions are that Princess Haya was subjected to a sustained campaign of fear and intimidation by her former husband. He also finds that Shamsa and Latifa were abducted on their father’s orders.
Source: Read Full Article