The High Court in London has ordered Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, to give a British record of more than 554 million pounds ($733 million) in order to resolve a custody battle with his ex-wife for their two children.
The judge, Philip Moor said this huge massive award to Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, half-sister of Jordan’s King Abdullah, and two children of the couple, is to ensure their lifetime safety, not least to consider the “grave risk” put on them by the sheikh himself.
The judge said “She is not asking for an award for herself other than for security” and to indemnify her for the belongings she lost because of their separation.
Amount to Be Provided for Princess and Children’s Future Security
He ordered Mohammed to make a lump-sum payment of 251.5 million pounds in three months to Haya for the maintenance of her British mansions, to cover the money she stated that she was owing for jewellery and racehorses, and for her future security expenses.
The sheikh, vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, was also ordered to give 3 million pounds for the education of Jalila and Zayed and 9.6 million pounds in arrears. He was also directed to pay 11.2 million pounds per year for the children’s salvation, and for their security when they turn adults.
These payments will be guaranteed via a 290-million-pound security held by HSBC bank. The final sum, despite being believed by some London lawyers to be the largest public award ever ordered by an English family court, is less than half of the 1.4 billion pounds that Haya had originally sought.
In a testimony of almost 7 hours, Haya said a large lump-sum payment would enable for a clean break and pull the sheikh’s control over her and their children.
She said “I really want to be free and I want them to be free.”
The court didn’t hear from the suspected blackmailers. Haya stated that she utilized money from the children’s accounts as she was terrified.
70 Million Pound Legal Battle
Haya’s attorney, Nicholas Cusworth, claimed legal charges for two and a half years had exceeded 70 million pounds, continuing “the true extent of the colossal sums spent by (Mohammed) will never be known”.
According to the report, the mass of Haya’s financial award will be for security. This was to ensure the children’s safety from being kidnapped by their own father, the judgement states, along with cash for a fleet of armoured cars which would be renewed every few years.
Moor stated Haya and her children required the comprehensive provision for their protection from the sheikh, and also because of their royal status.
Moor said “Absolutely uniquely, the main threat they face is from (the sheikh) himself not from outside sources,” he added “There will remain a clear and ever-present risk to (Haya) for the remainder of her life, whether it be from (Mohammed) or just from the normal terrorist,” citing security risks experienced by someone in Haya’s place.
Haya’s attorneys told the judge the money given to the princess and the children in Dubai had been “limitless”, with access to over a dozen lavish homes, a 400-million-pound yacht as well as a fleet of private jets.
The ruling said she had a yearly budget of over 83 million pounds for her household in Dubai with additional money of 9 million pounds to spend. Mohammed’s attorney admitted to the court he could raise 1.25 billion pounds in cash in three months.
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In approving Haya’s assertions for 1.9 million pounds to be lashed out on a kitchen extension, pizza oven and kitchen curtains at her London home.
Moor Said “I remind myself that money was no object during the marriage.”
Moor said he would not provide “carte blanche” to Haya’s financial claims, but would address her demands “with a very clear eye to the exceptional circumstances of this case, such as the truly opulent and unprecedented standard of living enjoyed by these parties in Dubai”.
Haya told the court it was not enormous for her to demand millions to pay for 5 housekeepers, clothing, maintenance of her two mansions, one anticipated to be worth nearly 100 million pounds, and regular holidays.
She said her jewellery, aggregately valued at nearly 20 million pounds, would cover the courtroom if scattered.
Moor directed Mohammed to pay her 1 million pounds for lost haute couture garments which she claimed had lost and 5 million for nine weeks of vacations for her and family members each year.
Her attorney said “She is not, in the context of this case, wealthy.” The judgement stated she had been compelled to sell off 15.6 million pounds of assets along with horses’ worth 10 million and 2.1 million pounds value of jewellery in order to manage ends meet whilst she held back for the final settlement.
The sheikh’s attorney, Dyer, called several Haya’s claims “absurd” or “ridiculous”, and claimed they were completely at odds with her mentioned hope for her children to live a normal life.
He claimed the judge’s decision was probably “the largest financial remedy award certainly ever ordered and I imagine ever made by a family court”.
The earliest largest sum ever thought to have been directed by a British court was the 453.6 million pounds that Russian billionaire Farkad Akhmedov was ordered to pay for his divorce settlement.
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Mohammed had proposed to pay regular maintenance of 10 million pounds per year, and give a guarantee of 500-million-pound which Dyer claimed would “hang like a sword of Damocles” over his head and that of his family.
Moor concluded saying he found Haya’s evidence to be “palpably honest”.
The princess’s lawyer said “the actual value of money is very different to any normal mortal involved in this case or any litigant who normally comes before this court”.