UK Queen to distance herself from Dubai ruler: Report

International | Written by : IANS| Updated:

UK Queen to distance herself from Dubai ruler: Report

London, March 8 (IANS) The UK's Queen Elizabeth II is reportedly set to shun the ruler of Dubai after a High Court ruling found he kidnapped his own daughters and detained them for almost two decades, according to a media report.

On March 5, Britain's most senior judges found that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), had "ordered and orchestrated" the abduction of his daughters, Sheikha Shamsa and Sheikha Latifa, and forced them to return to Dubai.

Following the High Court ruling against Sheikh Mohammed, which accused him of abducting then 19-year-old Shamsa, in August 2000, and sister Latifa twice in 2002 and 2018, the Queen will now "refuse to be photographed with him or the princess in public", the Metro newspaper quoted the report in the Times daily as saying on Saturday.

The Sheikh is said to have been on "respectful and friendly terms" with the British Royal Family for more than 20 years, the Times report said.

If the monarch shuns him completely, it could have great consequences on the UK's relationship with the UAE, which the government was hoping to strengthen following Brexit, it added.

The report comes as Cambridgeshire Police is set to launch a review of an investigation over the disappearance of Shamsa, now 38, who was abducted from the streets of Cambridge on August 19, 2000, and has never been seen in public since.

The force probed the incident in 2001 but dropped the case after finding "insufficient evidence".

"An investigation into the alleged abduction of Shamsa Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2000 was carried out by Cambridgeshire Constabulary in 2001. A review took place in 2017 and it was again concluded there was insufficient evidence to take any further action,' a Cambridgeshire Police spokesperson was quoted as saying

"This is no longer an active investigation and we are not in contact with the victim... However, in light of the recent release of the judgement, aspects of the case will now be subject to review."

The High Court ruling confirmed long-standing rumours over the Dubai ruler's daughters' welfare, which emerged following a child custody battle with his sixth wife, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, the half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Princess Haya alleged her former husband Sheikh Mohammed launched a "campaign of fear and intimidatio" against her, and testified that she twice found a loaded gun on her bed and was threatened to be whisked away in a helicopter to a desert prison.

She became "terrified" of her then husband and fled to her home in west London last year with their two children.

Soon after, Sheikh Mohammed applied for a summary return to Dubai of daughter, Al Jalila, now 12, and son Zayed, eight.