It has been alleged in the UK’s austere High Court, that His Royal Highness Sheikh Mohammad who owns all of the Godolphin racehorses including Saturday’s G1 winner Bivouac, is being investigated for kidnap and cruelty.
His former wife, Princess Haya, is at the centre of the investigation which involves the two children she has had with him and Sheikh Mohammad’s older daughters from another woman: Sheikha Latifa and Shaikha Shamsa.
Princess Haya has been in court fighting for full custody of her children, Zayed and Jalila. She has also detailed circumstances allegedly involving His Royal Highness kidnapping his adult daughters at gunpoint after they had left the palace for a ‘better life’.
The Ruler of Dubai had successfully kept this news out of the media’s prying hands until today. The Findings of Fact were originally handed down by the Rt Hon Sir Andrew McFarlane in January of this year. Facts that Sheikh Mohammad, has questioned claiming he was denied to give his side of the story.
The Right Hon Sir Andrew McFarlane, however, claims that is incorrect and that Sheikh Mohammad was called repeatedly to come to court.
Since the January court hearing, which Sheikh Mohammed refused to attend, his lawyers fought to prevent publication. They succeeded…..for a short time. That bid failed on March 5 of this week, following legal action taken jointly by major British news organisations including the BBC, Sky and Reuters. They successfully argued that publication of the ‘Facts’ was in the public interest.
Princess Haya who fears for her safety, has offered in court, this note she claims came from Sheikh Mohammad. “And you have transgressed and betrayed. You traitor, you betrayed the most precious trust. I exposed you and your games…I have the evidence that convicts you of what you have done…You know your actions are an insult…Let’s see if mischief brings you benefits I care not whether you live or die.”
It is understood Sheikh Mohammad divorced his wife last year under Sharia Law because he believed she was having an affair with a bodyguard. At the time, the Princess did not know she had been divorced and has since fled their Dubai palace.
In his submissions to the High Court, Sheikh Mohammed addressed a few of the issues mentioned, noting most strongly that his daughter Latifa’s return was a ”rescue mission” and that “with respect, I do not consider that this honourable court is in a position to investigate the security and intelligence issues that arose.”
He alleged that Latifa had been “manipulated” by Herve Jaubert – the Frenchman who supplied the yacht for her escape – to extort money. “We feared that our daughter was in the hands of a criminal who might hold her to ransom and harm her.”
Princess Haya, who lives in England with her two children now, and Sheikha Latifa who is back living at the Dubai palace allegedly against her will, have denounced those claims.
One noteworthy Finding of Fact in the High Court reads…. Sheikh Mohammed’s denial of all allegations is acknowledged by the High Court, but in his account relating to Shamsa and Latifa he “has not been open and honest with the court”. His behaviour “is contrary to the criminal law of England and Wales, international law, international maritime law, and internationally accepted human rights norms.”
This is indeed a family matter and perhaps we have no right reporting it. But the BBC thinks the high profile Ruler of Dubai should have his laundry exposed to the public.
And the High Court of England agreed.
There has been a documentary made about the alleged kidnappings with Latifa and her friend, a Finnish native, featuring strongly.
From the Dubai palace yesterday, a statement from Sheikh Mohammad 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.
“I ask that the media respect the privacy of our children and do not intrude into their lives in the UK.”
I think we may here more about this.