UAE ‘swapped’ busi­ness­man for princess

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - - Worldwide -

Re­ports are emerg­ing that the run­away Dubai princess whose visit from Mary Robin­son led to con­tro­versy last month, was in fact “ex­changed” with In­dia for a Bri­tish arms con­sul­tant at the cen­tre of a bribery scan­dal over a he­li­copter deal in In­dia.

Chris­tian Michel, 57, de­scribed as a “smooth” busi­ness dealer by In­dian de­tec­tives, was ex­tra­dited from the UAE last month to face charges over a deal that has sent shock waves across high po­lit­i­cal and mil­i­tary cir­cles in Delhi.

He was handed to In­dia in an ex­change for Princess Sheikha Lat­ifa bint Mo­hammed al-Mak­toum — the daugh­ter of Dubai’s ruler, who was in­ter­cepted by the In­dian Navy dur­ing her at­tempt to flee the UAE last year.

The princess’s cap­ture off the coast of Goa drew global at­ten­tion for her dra­matic es­cape from Dubai in a yacht with the aid of a French spy, as she al­legedly sought asy­lum for mis­treat­ment by the royal fam­ily. Mary Robin­son be­came in­volved when she vis­ited the princess in the UAE to re­port to the UNHCR on the on­go­ing saga.

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