Queen Elizabeth is reportedly set to distance herself from Dubai’s ruler after a UK court found him guilty of abducting his own daughters and keep them in detention for almost two decades. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Emir of Dubai, has shared a bond with Queen over the love of horse racing and the former owns the elite London-based Godolphin Racing.
It is believed that the UAE Prime Minister, described as ‘friends’ with the monarch, has been sending annual gifts to the Queen and they have been seen together on a fairly regular basis. However, the latest judgement of the UK High Court of Justice’s Family Division has put their “friendship” in jeopardy.
UK court ruled on March 5 that the Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum abducted her daughter Princess Latifa and subjected to inhuman treatment. The court also said that the elder daughter Princess Shamsa was abducted from the English city of Cambridge in August 2000.
Cambridgeshire police, which had carried the investigation into the disappearance, said that they had found “insufficient” evidence back then and did not find any concrete evidence after reviewing it in 2017. But a spokesperson for the Cambridgeshire police said that aspects of the case will now be subject to review.
The court said that Dubai’s ruler detained and ill-treated his younger daughter Sheikha Latifa. Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director, said in a statement that the ruling was a long-overdue step towards justice for Latifa. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid had insisted it as ‘private family matters’ but Maalouf opined that state-sanctioned abduction and inhuman treatment is not a family affair.
Princess Latifa took the help of her fitness trainer and friend Tiina Jauhiainen and planned the escape which is being dubbed as a plot from a movie. In a failed attempt to escape her father’s clutches, Latifa took the help of a friend and used car, dinghy, and jet skis to flee from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2018.
As per Jauhiainen’s testimony, they were headed for Goa with a hope to travel to the United States from there and seek asylum. However, they were allegedly caught by Indian coast guards and Latifa was taken off the boat by an Emirati officer. Judge Andrew McFarlane called Jauhiainen a “wholly impressive individual” and regarded the evidence provided by the Finnish woman as being of singular importance.