Newmarket stud owner Sheikh Mohammed accused of holding daughter 'hostage'
The daughter of Newmarket racehorse stud owner and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed, has accused her father of holding her hostage.
Princess Latifa Al Maktoum escaped Dubai in February 2018 but was forcibly returned the following month.
Video messages recorded on a mobile phone, obtained by Panorama, show the princess, now 35, crouched against the wall in a bathroom at the “villa jail” where she claims she is being detained.
In the messages, she said: “I’m a hostage.
"And this villa has been converted into a jail.
“All the windows are barred shut, I can’t open any window.
“… I can’t even go outside to get any fresh air.”
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She added: “Every day I am worried about my safety and my life, I don’t really know if I’m going to survive this situation.
“I am really reaching a point now where I’m just getting so tired of everything… I just want to be free.”
Last year the High Court in London found her father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, “ordered and orchestrated” the abduction and forced return to Dubai of Princess Latifa twice, in 2002 and again in 2018.
Sheikh Mohammed - who owns Dalham Hall stud in Newmarket - and the Dubai Royal Court have said she is safe in the loving care of her family.
The BBC said Princess Latifa was guarded by around 30 police at the villa.
Her friend Tiina Jauhiainen, who helped the Princess escape three years ago, told the BBC: “She is so pale, she hasn’t seen sunlight for months.
“She can basically move just from her room to the kitchen and back.”
Former Irish president Mary Robinson, a friend of Sheikh Mohammed’s sixth wife Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, previously described Princess Latifa as a “troubled young woman” but has since admitted she was “misled”.
She told Panorama: “And they were saying to me, in a way that was very convincing: ‘We don’t want Latifa to go through any further trauma’.
“I didn’t know how to address somebody who was bipolar about their trauma.
“And I didn’t really actually want to talk to her and increase the trauma over a nice lunch.”
BBC Panorama: The Missing Princess will be broadcast on BBC One, at 8.30pm on Tuesday [February 16] and then on BBC iPlayer.