Candice Cohen-Ahnine died without being able to see her daughter again after she was kidnapped in 2008 by her father, a Saudi prince.
The French Jewish woman who was fighting for custody of Haya, aged 11, died Thursday at her Paris home in “suspicious circumstances” according to her publisher. She “fell” of her balcony.
Cohen-Ahnine gave birth to Haya in 2001. But the couple broke up five years later, when Prince Sattam told her he was going to marry his cousin and wanted Candice relegated to second wife status. She subsequently returned to Paris with her daughter.
In 2008, eager to see his daughter, Prince Sattam resumed contact with his estranged wife and asked her to come to Saudi Arabia so he could visit with his daughter. That September, Candice and Haya arrived in the Kingdom. But the nightmare began soon after when her passport was stolen and she was imprisoned in a palace in Riyadh. Her daughter was then kidnapped by the father. “
Candice converted to Islam to marry her Prince but never became a real Princess
Miss Cohen-Ahnin was eventually spirited out of the country after the prince allegedly produced a document purporting that she had been Muslim but had converted to Judaism — a crime punishable by death.
UK Telegraph The Paris criminal court ordered Prince Sattam al-Saud from the kingdom’s founding royal family, to hand over custody of his daughter Haya to her French Jewish mother, Candice Cohen-Ahnine.. For the past three-and-a-half years, the prince has kept Haya in a Riyadh palace despite efforts by the French foreign ministry and President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office to resolve the issue.
Despairing at the lack of diplomatic progress, she published ‘Give My Daughter Back’, a book recounting her ordeal, in October. Since the court ruling, the prince faces an international arrest warrant for ignoring the custody sentence. The prince denied ever having kidnapped the child or the mother. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, he said: “She was free to come and go as she pleased.” He said she had converted to Islam and the two had married in Lebanon under Islamic law, and under terms of the divorce, put through courts in Lebanon and Saudi Arabia, the parents were to share custody of the child.
Cohen-Ahnine was scheduled to visit her daughter in Saudi Arabia in September. Instead she will be in her grave.