Police in the UK are to launch a review of an investigation over the disappearance of the ruler of Dubai's daughter in Cambridge in 2000 following a High Court ruling that he "abducted and detained" her against her will.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 70, who is also vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, "ordered and orchestrated" the abduction and forced return to Dubai of Sheikha Shamsa, then 19, in August 2000 and her sister Sheikha Latifa twice, in 2002 and again in 2018, according to a damning judgment published on Thursday.
The confirmation of long-standing rumours surrounding Sheikh Mohammed's two daughters came out of his legal battle with his sixth wife Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, 45, the half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan, over their two children.
Shamsa, now 38, was abducted from the streets of Cambridge on August 19 2000 and has never been seen in public since.
Now Cambridgeshire Police have confirmed "aspects" of their 2001 probe - which found insufficient evidence to take any action - will be revisited, although the force insisted the investigation was no longer "active".
A spokeswoman said: "An investigation into the alleged abduction of Shamsa Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum in 2000 was carried out by Cambridgeshire Constabulary in 2001.
"With the evidence that was available to us this was insufficient to take any further action.
"A review took place in 2017 and it was again concluded there was insufficient evidence to take any further action. This is no longer an active investigation and we are not in contact with the victim.
"The burden of proof and evidential requirements are significantly different in family court proceedings to that of criminal proceedings, however, in light of the recent release of the judgment, aspects of the case will now be subject to review."
At the High Court, Princess Haya asked Justice Andrew McFarlane, the most senior family judge in England and Wales, to make findings of fact about Sheikh Mohammed in relation to his application for contact with their daughter Al Jalila, 12, and son Zayed, eight.
Justice McFarlane explained in his judgment that "a substantial element in the extreme concern (Princess Haya) has for the future well-being of her children arises from her belief that Shamsa and Latifa have been and are deprived of their liberty on an open-ended basis".
In his judgment, Justice McFarlane said Shamsa contacted an immigration solicitor - who cannot be named for legal reasons - in June 2000, saying she was estranged from her father and asking for advice on how she might be able to remain in the UK.
The judge stated: "He heard nothing further from her until he was informed by police in August 2000 that Shamsa may have been abducted."
However, in February 2001, the solicitor received an email said to be from Shamsa - sent by one of her sisters - which read: "I was caught on August 19, in Cambridge.
"He (Sheikh Mohammed) sent four Arab men to catch me, they were carrying guns and threatening me, they drove me to my father's place in Newmarket, there they gave me two injections and a handful of tablets, the very next morning a helicopter came and flew me to the plane, which took me back to Dubai. I am locked up until today."
The email added: "I told you this would happen ... I know these people, they have all the money, they have all the power, they think they can do anything."
Shamsa also provided another account of her abduction, leaving an answerphone message on the telephone of a complete stranger on 21 August, saying she had been returned to Dubai against her will and asking for her solicitor to be informed.
DCI David Beck led Cambridgeshire Police's investigation into her disappearance, and discovered the arrival and departure of a helicopter which travelled from Newmarket to France at 5am on 20 August.
The officer sought permission from the Crown Prosecution Service to visit Dubai to interview potential witnesses, but his request was refused.
At a hearing in November, Princess Haya's barrister Charles Geekie QC told the court that DCI Beck's evidence made clear that there had been "interference" in the police inquiry.
In his judgment, Justice McFarlane said the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) had confirmed it held "information relating to the investigation of Shamsa's alleged kidnapping".
But the FCO refused to disclose it, saying that "releasing information on this issue would increase public knowledge about our relations with UAE" and "would reduce the UK Government's ability to protect and promote UK interests through its relations with UAE which would not be in the public interest".
Justice McFarlane concluded: "It is not possible to find on the balance of probability that permission for Mr Beck to visit Dubai was refused because of the direct intervention of the FCO, nor, moving further still from the basic known facts, that any intervention by the FCO had been triggered by the father or the government of Dubai."
Latifa's high-profile attempt to flee the UAE in 2018 became public after a video account of her abduction and imprisonment at the hands of her father was published on YouTube in March of that year.
However her failed bid for freedom was not the first time she tried to leave the emirate, having attempted to run away in 2002 before being stopped at the border with Oman and returned to the family home.
Latifa said in her 2018 video that she was held against her will after that escape attempt until October 2005, during which time she was subjected to "constant torture".
The judge added that "the co-operation of the Indian military in the operation to capture Latifa" demonstrated Sheikh Mohammed and the UAE's significant international respect and influence.
Latifa was seen in public in December 2018, when Princess Haya invited her friend Mary Robinson - former president of Ireland - to visit Dubai to establish "proof of life".
The ruler's court in Dubai confirmed in a letter to the United Nations later that month that Latifa was "alive, safe and in the loving care of her family at their Dubai residences".
Princess Haya's lawyers wanted both Shamsa and Latifa to give evidence about their treatment at their father's hands.
But, in his evidence to the court, Sheikh Mohammed claimed: "I saw both of my daughters on August 27 2019 and I explained that Princess Haya's solicitors wanted to speak to them.
"Both Shamsa and Latifa were adamant that they did not want to do this. I gave them both the opportunity to take independent legal advice, so that they could take an informed decision about whether and how to become involved in these proceedings."
Justice McFarlane rejected that contention, stating that he did not accept that "Shamsa and Latifa have been given a free choice about engaging in this court process and communicating directly in some way either with the mother in these proceedings or the court".