Dubai ruler, princess in London court over welfare of kids

LONDON (AP) — The estranged wife of Dubai's ruler applied for protective orders in a British court Tuesday using laws intended to safeguard victims of forced marriages and domestic abuse.

Princess Haya, 45, requested a forced marriage protection order and a non-molestation order during a British High Court hearing centered on the welfare of her two children with Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. It was not immediately clear whether the protection order applied to her or the children.

She asked for wardship of the children during the preliminary hearing. Princess Haya, who is Sheikh Mohammed's sixth wife and the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, reportedly fled Dubai earlier this year.

Family court Judge Andrew McFarlane rejected a request from Sheikh Mohammed's lawyers for details about the protective orders to be subject to reporting restrictions.

"There is a public interest in the public understanding, in very broad terms, proceedings that are before the court," he said.

Sheikh Mohammed's lawyers also applied for the summary return of the children to Dubai.

The clash between Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya is the latest sign of trouble in Dubai's ruling family. Last year, a daughter of Sheikh Mohammed tried to flee Dubai after appearing in a 40-minute video saying she had been imprisoned.

Sheikh Mohammed, who turned 70 earlier this month, is also the founder of the successful Godolphin horse racing stable and last month received a trophy from Queen Elizabeth II after one of his horses won a race at Royal Ascot.

He was not present at the hearing on Tuesday.

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