SHEIKH ISSA BIN ZAYED AL-NAYHAN
Dad: The late former ruler of Abu Dhabi and former president of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan
Bad behavior: Although he has no formal government position, Sheikh Issa, whose brother Khalifa is the current ruler of Abu Dhabi, is one of the emirate’s most prominent real estate developers. He was previously best known for building the Al Hakema tower, a massive complex in honor of his late father. But thanks to one night in the desert and an ill-advised videotape, Sheikh Issa’s name is now synonymous with sadism and abuse of power.
A video obtained by ABC News shows a group of men, including the sheikh, torturing an Afghan grain merchant who he accuses of cheating him. In the video, which was allegedly shot on his desert ranch at night, Issa fires an automatic weapon around the man, stuffs sand in his mouth, sodomizes him with an electric cattle prod, lights him on fire, and pours salt on his bleeding wounds.
The video was given to ABC by one of Issa’s former business associates, who is suing over various business deals. The man claims to have evidence of 25 other cases of torture by Issa. The UAE’s interior minister -- who happens to also be Issa’s brother -- acknowledged that the man on the tape was him. Issa has been put under house arrest pending investigation, which is extremely rare for a member of the royal family. It will take a lot more than a skyscraper to erase this stain from the family’s reputation.