UK Court: Dubai leader hacked ex-wife's phone

The ruler of Dubai used an Israeli cyber-weapon to spy on the phones of his ex-wife and her lawyers.

That's according to England's high court, as part of a bitter custody battle between 72-year-old Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and his former spouse, 47-year-old Princess Haya bint al-Hussein.

Reporting restrictions were lifted on Wednesday after a year of hearings.

Sheikh Mohammed used the sophisticated "Pegasus" software, developed by Israeli firm NSO, as part of what the court described as a "sustained campaign of intimidation and threat."

NSO says Pegasus was designed to help nations monitor security threats. Privacy rights groups say it has been used by authoritarian government to spy on civilians, journalists, and political dissidents.

The latest rulings come 19 months after the court concluded that Mohammed had abducted two of his daughters, mistreated them and held them against their will.

In a judgment released on Wednesday, McFarlane ruled that the children should live with their mother.

The sheikh had denied the allegations of hacking and his lawyers had argued other countries in the Middle East could have been to blame.

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