Qatari royals fly to Switzerland to visit former ruler at Zurich hospital

sheikh-Hamad and Sheikh Juaan

Qatar’s former ruler was flown to Switzerland for surgery over the weekend after breaking his leg on holiday and is now recovering there, government officials said Tuesday.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, who ruled Qatar after a 1995 bloodless coup until handing power to his son in 2013, is undergoing physiotherapy in Zurich and recovering, the Qatar Government Communications Office said in a statement to The Associated Press.

The statement said Sheikh Hamad was flown to Zurich on Saturday. Government officials declined to say how or where Sheikh Hamad broke his leg.

Airplane hobbyists and online airplane tracking website FlightRadar24 reported several Qatari flights landing in Zurich around that time, first from Morocco and later from Qatar, raising speculation Sheikh Hamad might have suffered his injury in Morocco.

Hatem Moussa/ Pool photo via AP, File

Hatem Moussa/ Pool photo via AP, FileSheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani on Oct. 23, 2012.

Swiss media reported earlier this week that Zurich’s international airport opened afterhours to accept Qatari airplanes counter to local regulations in place meant to avoid disturbing those living around the airport at night.

Swiss civil aviation authorities told Agence France-Presse that a number of planes from the Qatari royal fleet had made unscheduled landings at the airport. Source: National Post