A resounding divorce trial in London has lifted a corner of the veil that hides the opulence and violence reigning in some palaces in the Middle East. On Tuesday, December 21, a London court sentenced Sheikh Mohammed Ben Rachid Al-Maktoum, Emir of Dubai, to pay £ 554 million (650 million euros) in compensation to his ex-wife, Princess Haya Bint Al -Hussein, daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan.
The lawsuit revealed how the emir attempted to intimidate his former wife, tried to secretly buy the house next to his country residence, and used Pegasus cyber surveillance software to infiltrate his and his cell phones. collaborators. “It constitutes a serious security risk [de la princesse] and his children ”, Judge Philip Moor said.
The story begins as a tale from One Thousand and One Nights. On the one hand, the monarch of the rowdy city-state, 72 years old today, who dreams of making his city a rival to New York. On the other, the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan and his third wife, currently 47 years old. Two children were born from their marriage in 2004 – they are now 9 and 13 years old.
But the relationship turns sour. The princess cheats on her husband with a bodyguard, who blackmails her by threatening to tell about their affair. However, the emir is known for his violence. “He ordered and orchestrated the kidnapping of two of his children”, recalled the judge. In 2000, Sheikh Mohammed had in fact kidnapped, in the streets of Cambridge, one of his daughters, Princess Shamsa, who had tried to escape to friends living in the British capital. In 2018, another of her daughters, Princess Latifa, was likewise forcibly brought back to her father, while she was on a yacht off India.
A certain way of life
Under these conditions, Princess Haya believes she has no choice: in April 2019, she fled to London, not without having sent eight tons of personal belongings in advance. She takes refuge with her two children in a huge mansion from the center of the British capital, bought in 2016 for 87 million pounds (102 million euros). But her ex-husband cuts off her food.
She was then forced, she explained to the courts, to sell her business in order to survive: her horses, for more than 10 million euros, jewelry, for 2.5 million euros, luxury bags. … Fearing a kidnapping, he must also pay very high security costs, estimated at 11 million pounds, including armored cars, bodyguards, video surveillance, etc.
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The Emir of Dubai, the Princess of Jordan and the divorce at 650 million euros