Dubai ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
DOJ Indicts 7 Russian GRU Officers For Hacking Charges Photo by Jason Lee - Pool/Getty Images

Amid custody battle over their children, Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum used Pegasus Software to hack his ex-wife and her lawyers' phones, it was revealed Wednesday.

England's High Court ruled that the hacking was part of "sustained campaign of intimidation and threat," according to Reuters.

The Dubai ruler used the software developed by Israeli company NSO for the purpose of countering national security risks, to hack the phones of Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, half-sister of Jordan's King Abdullah, and some of the people close to her.

According to BBC, Haya said it had made her feel "hunted and haunted." To "snoop on her," he also tried to buy an estate in Windsor Park worth 30 million pounds ($4,07,84,700), according to Daily Mail. The estate was close to Haya's property near the British capital.

Judge Andrew McFarlane, President of the Family Division in England and Wales, said in his ruling, "The findings represent a total abuse of trust, and indeed an abuse of power to a significant extent."

The Dubai ruler rejected the court's conclusions, and said that he has always denied the allegations made against him and continues to do so. He also said that the findings were based on evidence that was not disclosed to him or his advisers, therefore he maintained that they were made in a manner, which was not fair.

The Dubai ruler and the princess have been involved in a long custody battle since she ran off to Britain with their two kids, Zayed, 9, and Jalila, 13. Amid suspicions that she had had an affair with one of her bodyguards, she feared for her safety, she said.

The princess' lawyer Fiona Shackleton, who represented Prince Charles in his divorce from his late first wife Princess Diana, was among those whose phone was hacked. Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, had informed Shackleton that she and the princess had been hacked, that's how the matter came to light in August 2020.

Haya's lawyers were also alerted about it by a cyber expert from the University of Toronto's internet watchdog Citizen Lab after tracking the hacking. Haya's lawyers said that after the hacking was uncovered, a contract with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was cancelled by NSO.

Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein with her lawyer Baroness Fiona Shackleton
Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein arrives with her lawyer Baroness Fiona Shackleton at the High Court on February 28, 2020 in London, England. Princess Haya has applied for a non-molestation order and a forced marriage protection order in relation to the children she shares with her estranged billionaire husband Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, ruler of the Emirate of Dubai. Princess Haya bint Hussein is the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan, she married Sheikh Mohammed in 2004 becoming his sixth wife. Photo by Pete Summers/Getty Images

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