It is a record sum for the English justice in matters of divorce: the sovereign of Dubai, Mohammed ben Rached al-Maktoum, was ordered Tuesday in London to pay the sum of more than 640 million euros (more than 933 million dollars) to his ex-wife and their children.
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This judgment is the last episode in a series of legal battles revealing kidnappings, boat leaks and computer hacks within the family of the emir of the strategic city state of the Gulf.
The 72-year-old leader, head of government of the United Arab Emirates, will have to pay £ 251.5million (around $ 430million) to his sixth wife, Princess Haya of Jordan, 47, who fled to London in 2019, taking their two children.
He will also have to make payments for their children Al Jalila, 14, and Zayed, nine, which could total 290 million pounds (nearly 500 million dollars) to cover alimony and costs related to their security. , according to a judgment of the court of family affairs released Tuesday.
The total amount, which includes tens of thousands of pounds for vacation or pet-related expenses, could vary depending on several factors, including whether the children come to terms with their father.
These financial compensation measures are considered to be the most important ever granted in the context of the settlement of a divorce in English courts since the case of the ex-wife of Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov, Tatiana Akhmedova.
At the end of 2016, justice had granted Ms. Akhmedova 41% of her ex-husband’s fortune, representing 453 million pounds, more than 775 million dollars at the current rate.
A spokesperson for Mohammed ben Rached al-Maktoum said that the latter “has always made sure that his children are free from want”.
“The court has now rendered its decision on the financial aspect and he does not intend to comment further,” continued this spokesperson, adding that “He asks the media to respect the privacy of his children and not to interfere in their life in the UK. “
Making his ruling, Judge Moor ruled that “given their status and the general threats of terrorism and kidnapping they face in such circumstances (the children of the sovereign) are particularly vulnerable and in need of enhanced security to ensure their safety in this country ”.
He added that “the main threat they face comes from the (ruler) himself, not from outside sources.”
The High Court ruled in October that Mohammed ben Rached al-Maktoum, who has long had diplomatic relations with Elizabeth II and shares his love of horses with the queen, had authorized the hacking of his wife’s phone and those of his British lawyers.
The hacking had not been proven to be linked to the legal battle between him in the UK and his wife to get their two children back to Dubai, but a “very large” volume of 265 megabytes of data. had been taken from Princess Haya’s phone (either 24 hours of voice recording or 500 photographs).
The judge stressed that the sovereign had “harassed and intimidated the mother before she left for England and since” and that he was “ready to tolerate that those who act on her behalf do so illegally in the United Kingdom. “
In March 2020, the family court ruled that the sovereign had “ordered and orchestrated” the kidnapping of two of his children, Princess Shamsha and his sister Latifa, whom he had with another wife.
Princess Latifa, who had tried unsuccessfully to flee Dubai by boat in 2018, said for a time to be held “hostage” by her father. Last June, she said she was “free to travel” through her law firm.
She had called on the British police to investigate again the kidnapping of her older sister Shamsha in 2000 in Cambridge, in a letter dated 2018 unveiled in February 2021 by the BBC.