Verdicts delivered in child wardship battle between Dubai ruler and ex-wife, court hears

LONDON (Reuters) - Verdicts have been given in the latest stage of a legal battle between Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and his former wife Princess Haya bint al-Hussein over their children, London's Court of Appeal heard on Wednesday.

The court was due to hear a challenge by Mohammed against publication of previous rulings in the case by England's High Court. Princess Haya and the court-appointed guardian of the children supported publication of judgments, the court heard.

The wardship battle over their two children began in May last year and there have been a number of hearings at London's High Court before the President of the Family Division, Andrew McFarlane, which have been held in private.

The two parties said in a statement in July last year that the case did not concern divorce or finances but was limited to their children's welfare.

Sheikh Mohammed has applied to the court for the summary return of his children to Dubai. Haya has asked the court to protect one of her children from a forced marriage and to grant a non-molestation order, a type of injunction that protects against harassment or threats.

"This appeal arises from wardship proceedings in the High Court concerning two children who are at present within the jurisdiction of the Court," Justice Nicholas Underhill, Vice-President of the Court of Appeal, said.

The wardship proceedings are still ongoing and there will be a "welfare hearing" at the end of next month, he said.

McFarlane gave a decision last month that the two judgments should be made public.

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Writing by William Schomberg; Editing by Kate Holton and Nick Tattersall)


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