Saudi ‘Tiger Squad’ lawsuit dismissed by US court
A US judge has dismissed a case brought by a former senior Saudi intelligence official against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Saad Aljabri, a former Saudi intelligence officer living in exile in Toronto, filed a lawsuit against bin Salman and others in the summer of 2020, alleging they made death threats and sought to « lure » Aljabri out. from his hiding place.
The lawsuit also alleged that in October 2018, the crown prince sent a team of assassins, known as the Tiger Squad, to Canada with the aim of killing Aljabri. His lawsuit sought unspecified damages from bin Salman and associates.
Part of the plan, according to Aljabri, included kidnapping two of his adult children, Sarah and Omar, from Saudi Arabia in March 2020.
The statements contained in the complaint have not been tested in court.
The lawsuit said Aljabri was a target because of his close ties to the US intelligence community, his « intimate » knowledge of bin Salman’s activities, and the threat to undermine bin Salman’s influence and support of Trump’s White House.
In response, bin Salman’s attorney argued that he was « entitled to status-based immunity from suit in a US court. »
But the case continued.
The court granted motions to dismiss filed by bin Salman and others named in the lawsuit last month on the grounds that it had not been proven that the US court had jurisdiction over the matter.
But the case was pending against an accused, Bijad Alharbi. Alharbi had not been served after the complaint filed against him by Aljabri.
According to court documents filed by Aljabri on October 14, he had no intention of serving Alharbi pending an appeal of the previous decision to dismiss the case. District Judge Timothy Kelly in Washington, DC, later dismissed it, shutting it down in its entirety on October 19.
« To facilitate appellate review, Dr. Saad respectfully requests that, as part of its order dismissing the claims regarding Alharbi, the Court issue final judgment that clearly indicates that the Court has ruled on all claims against all parties and that the action was dismissed,” the October 14 documents, filed by Aljabri’s legal team, state.
Saad’s lawyers did not back down on Star’s requests for comment.
The case was part of a larger legal fight between Aljabri and parties in Saudi Arabia. In January 2021, a case against Aljabri was filed in the Ontario Superior Court by a consortium of Saudi state-owned companies.
The lawsuit alleged that Aljabri conspired to defraud businesses of US$3.5 billion and hid the spoils overseas.
Aljabri has denied the allegations, but an Ontario judge has frozen his global assets anyway pending hearing further arguments in 2021. Aljabri alleges the companies are controlled by bin Salman.
He says the lawsuit is part of an ongoing attempt to hurt and intimidate him because he is a supporter of former Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, a rival for bin Salman’s toppled throne. in a coup he orchestrated in 2017.
In June, the Canadian government sought a court injunction to stop Aljabri from filing security information it says is sensitive in the case.
With files from The Canadian Press and Star Archives
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