Miss­ing Dubai princess ‘safely back at home’

The Dominion Post - - World -

The gov­ern­ment of Dubai broke its si­lence on the case of its miss­ing princess yes­ter­day, say­ing she was safely back home and ac­cus­ing a for­mer French spy of her kid­nap. Sheikha Lat­ifa, the daugh­ter of Sheikh Mo­hammed bin Rashid al-Mak­toum, Dubai’s ruler, tried to es­cape the coun­try in March af­ter com­plain­ing she was ef­fec­tively be­ing held pris­oner by her re­pres­sive fa­ther. She fled across the bor­der to Oman with the help of a friend, be­fore board­ing a boat to meet French na­tional Herve Jaubert, who had him­self es­caped the Emi­rates in 2008. The boat set sail for the In­dian coast but was in­ter­cepted by three In­dian and two Emi­rati war­ships. Jaubert claimed that he and his crew were beaten by com­man­dos be­fore Lat­ifa was whisked away. Her so­cial me­dia ac­counts, where she liked to share pic­tures and videos of her­self sky­div­ing, were shut down shortly af­ter­wards. De­tained In Dubai, an in­ter­na­tional civil and crim­i­nal jus­tice or­gan­i­sa­tion, pub­lished a video sent from the 33-year-old princess in the event of her cap­ture. ‘‘My fa­ther is the most evil per­son I have ever met in my life,’’ she says tear­fully in the video. ‘‘He’s pure evil. There’s noth­ing good in him. If you are watch­ing this, it’s not such a good thing – ei­ther I’m dead or I’m in a very, very bad sit­u­a­tion.’’ She has not been seen or heard from since. ‘‘Her High­ness Sheikha Lat­ifa is now safe in Dubai,’’ read a state­ment re­leased yes­ter­day by Dubai’s Royal Court. ‘‘She and her fam­ily are look­ing for­ward to cel­e­brat­ing her birth­day to­day, in pri­vacy and peace, and to build­ing a happy and sta­ble fu­ture for her.’’

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