Billionaire ruler of Dubai is a ‘remorseless’ abuser who terrified his ex-wife, the High Court finds

THE ruler of Dubai is a “remorseless” abuser who terrified his ex-wife, the High Court has found.

Billionaire racehorse owner Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum — a friend of the Queen — “acted in a wholly coercive and controlling manner” towards Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, a judge ruled.

The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is a ‘remorseless’ abuser who terrified his ex-wife Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, the High Court has foundCredit: EPA

Princess Haya, 47, fled the United Arab Emirates in 2019 after becoming terrified of her then-husband — she had been living in fear that her children would be kidnapped

Princess Haya, 47, fled the United Arab Emirates in 2019 after becoming terrified of her then-husband — she had been living in fear that her children would be kidnappedCredit: Getty Images – Getty

The billionaire racehorse owner — a friend of the Queen — 'acted in a wholly coercive and controlling manner' towards Princess Haya

The billionaire racehorse owner — a friend of the Queen — ‘acted in a wholly coercive and controlling manner’ towards Princess HayaCredit: AFP

He has been banned from bringing up the two children they share following a bitter three-year legal battle, which saw the sheikh, 72, pay his ex a record £550million in a divorce settlement.

Princess Haya, 47, fled the United Arab Emirates in 2019 after becoming terrified of her then-husband — she had been living in fear that her children would be kidnapped.

The court previously heard agents for Sheikh Mohammed had hacked her phone as well as her lawyers during the court battle, using state security software Pegasus.

He had even tried to secretly buy a £30million estate directly overlooking the princess’s Berkshire home, but was banned from doing so at an earlier hearing.

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In a ruling released yesterday, senior family court judge Sir Andrew McFarlane said the sheikh’s behaviour was domestic abuse “conducted on a scale which is entirely outside the ordinary circumstances of cases heard in the family court in this jurisdiction”.

He said the sheikh abused her to an “exorbitant degree” and has not expressed any “remorse or understanding of the impact” on her.

Princess Haya will now have sole responsibility for the medical care and schooling of their two children — Jalila, 14, and Zayed, ten.

The sheikh’s relationship with them is limited to calls and ­messages as he has decided not to pursue direct contact, the judge said.

Sir Andrew said the sheikh’s campaign of terror likely had “a profound impact upon every aspect” of Princess Haya’s “day-to-day life and her wellbeing”.

He said the sheikh has not apologised to the princess, and praised her for her care for her kids.

He said: “Given his immense power and wealth, the potential for the father, and those in Dubai who do his bidding, to act remorselessly against the interests of the mother has been proved.”

After coming to the UK, Princess Haya applied for the children to be made wards of court, with nearly 20 hearings following that.

The sheikh — who has an estimated £14billion fortune — was also found to be behind the abduction of his daughter Sheikha Shamsa in Cambridge in 2000, as well as stopping his other daughter, Sheikha Latifa, fleeing Dubai in 2002.

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Latifa was jailed for more than three years, and tried again to flee on a yacht in 2018 but Indian commandos stormed the vessel and took her back to her dad.

In a statement released on his behalf yesterday, the sheikh said he “loves his children”, and “maintains his denial of the allegations”.

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