The decision is considered a “defeat for the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in a legal battle with Saad al-Jabri, a former senior intelligence officer, who cooperated “closely” with US counterterrorism efforts, according to the agency.
Commenting on the dismissal of the case, US District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton said on Wednesday that the court was “not convinced” of the possibility of issuing a ruling in favor of the Saudi holding company “Sakab”, without obtaining information that the US government considers a “state secret.”
Gorton added that Scape’s case had “no basis” in federal or Massachusetts law.
Conversely, the US judge noted that also because of the confidentiality of the information, al-Jabri was unable to proceed with a counterclaim over luxury Boston properties linked to the spill.
A Saudi official told Reuters, who asked not to be identified: “This is a special procedure between the cooperating authorities and Al-Jabri. The kingdom is not a party to this procedure. Any inquiries should be directed to the concerned companies.”
Al-Jabri was a close aide to Prince Muhammad bin Nayef, the former Saudi interior minister, who was ousted by Mohammed bin Salman as heir to the throne in 2017, and has since fled to Canada.
Al-Jabri claims in a US lawsuit filed in 2020, that Canadian authorities thwarted a plot to kill him by a “assassination squad” sent by Mohammed bin Salman.
It is alleged that the incident occurred less than two weeks after the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Riyadh denies Jabri’s allegations and the involvement of Mohammed bin Salman in Khashoggi’s murder.
Sakb and nine other Saudi companies have also sued Al-Jabri in a Canadian court, alleging that during his tenure under Bin Nayef, he was the “mastermind of a $3.5 billion fraud scheme” on them. These companies are owned by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, which is headed by Mohammed bin Salman. Al-Jabri denies this claim.
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