The Emir of Dubai and the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Muhammad ibn Rashid, ordered the phones of his ex-wife, Princess Hajjbint al-Hussein and her close associates to be broken into, the British court found. According to the judges, it was part of “a long campaign of intimidation and threats” in the struggle for parental rights between the sheikh and his ex-partner.
According to the British court, the emir of Dubai, Muhammad ibn Rashid, who is also the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, ordered the use of the Pegasus spy system to hack the phone of Princess Hajj bint al-Hussein and several people in her immediate vicinity. As it was added, people cooperating with the sheikh also tried to buy an estate near the Hadzha property near London. According to the court, this action was intended to intimidate the princess, arousing in her a feeling of constant chase and lingering danger.
“These findings show a complete abuse of trust and, in fact, a considerable abuse of power,” said Judge Andrew McFarlane. The Reuters Agency recalled that the English court ruling came 19 months after the London tribunal ruledthat Muhammad ibn Rashid had ordered the abduction of his two daughters, mistreated them and kept them locked up against their will.
The Emir of Dubai dismisses the accusations
The Emir of Dubai rejected the ruling, arguing that the court was based on an incomplete picture of the case. “I’ve always fought off the allegations against me and will continue to do so,” he said in a statement quoted by Reuters. As he added, “the findings were based on evidence that had not been disclosed to me and my colleagues.” “That’s why I say that [proces – red.] was carried out in an unfair way “- he assessed.
The Reuters Agency said one of the people affected by the hacking on a mobile phone was the princess’s lawyer and member of the British House of Lords, Fiona Shackleton. These actions saw the light last August, after Shackleton received a burglary warning from lawyer Cherie Blair, privately the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. The agency noted that Blair was working with the Israeli company NSO, the producer of the Pegasus software.
With the help of the Pegasus software, you can not only eavesdrop on conversations from an infected smartphone, but also gain access to other data stored in it, e.g. e-mails, photos or videos. The NSO Group may only sell Pegasus overseas with the approval of the Israeli Ministry of Defense.
What is happening at the emir’s court?
47-year-old Hajj bint al-Hussein and 72-year-old Emir of Dubai Muhammad ibn Rashid were married in 2004. The princess, half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan, was the sixth and youngest wife of the Emir. In 2019, Princess Hajah bint al-Hussein fled the country. She directed her first steps in seeking asylum to Germany. Subsequently, the media reported that the woman had gone to Great Britain. In this country, she previously spent many years studying at private schools in Bristol and Dorset, and then studying at the University of Oxford.
In July 2019, the princess and the Emir began a court battle in front of the Supreme Court in London. Hajj demanded custody of two children from their marriage, with whom she escaped to England. Ibn Rashid wanted 13-year-old Jalila and 9-year-old Zayid to return to Dubai. The woman also asked for legal protection against forced marriage and protection against harassment by her spouse. As specified by the BBC, citing the gov.uk website, people who have experienced domestic violence can apply for the latter type of protection.
Princess Hajja explained to the court that she had been bullied for several months before escaping on the orders of the sheikh, which was to be related in part to an affair she had with her bodyguard, and in part to the fact that she became suspicious of the fate of two of the sheikh’s daughters from another married couples – Latifa and Shamsa – who had not been seen for a long time and who were supposed to be in a safe place.
A court hearing revealed that in 2000, Shamsa ran away from her family while on vacation in England, but two months later she was captured by the sheikh’s agents, and was given anesthetic and transported through France to Dubai. Two years later, her younger sister Latifa tried to escape. After her capture on the border with Oman, she was imprisoned and tortured for three years. In 2018, she tried to escape again, also without success. In February of this year, BBC News released videos that she secretly sent to Latif’s friends. The princess claimed she was being held in a locked villa. She also said that she was afraid for her safety and life.
Main photo source: Getty Images