Princess Haya's Phone Hacked by Dubai's Ruler

So finds the UK's high court
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 7, 2021 1:34 AM CDT
Sheikh Mohammed Had Ex-Wife's Phone Hacked, Court Rules
In this Wednesday, July 31, 2019 file photo, Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein leaves the High Court in London.   (AP Photo/Alastair Grant, file)

Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, had the phones of his ex-wife, Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, and her lawyers hacked, the UK's high court ruled Wednesday. Haya, the daughter of Jordan's late King Hussein, fled Dubai for Britain in 2019 with the sheikh's two children, saying she feared for her life after she started looking into the cases of two of the sheikh's adult daughters from another marriage, Princess Latifa and her sister, Princess Shamsa, both of whom were believed to have been returned to the United Arab Emirates by force after fleeing. Last year, amid a custody battle, a family court in Britain found the sheikh, who is also the prime minister of the UAE, likely did organize the abductions of Latifa and Shamsa.

Now, the high court says the sheikh ordered the phones of Haya and her legal advisers and staff to be hacked and monitored during the contentious custody and divorce battle, the BBC reports. The court found that "Pegasus" software was used to track the phones' locations, listen in on calls, read messages, and access contacts, passwords, photos, and more, CNN reports. Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is alleged to have ordered the same spyware to be used against dissidents living abroad, including murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi's associates. Wednesday's ruling finds that the children should live with Haya, Reuters reports. As for the sheikh, who denies all the claims, it will likely have little impact on him beyond bad publicity abroad. (More Dubai stories.)

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