Court Battles

Federal judge dismisses lawsuit against former top Saudi intel official


A federal judge threw out a lawsuit on Wednesday against a former senior Saudi intelligence official after the director of National Intelligence earlier this year used the state secrets privilege to block sensitive information from being released in the case.

In a case between former top Saudi intel officer Saad al-Jabri and Saudi state-owned Sakab Saudi Holding Co.,  District Court Judge Nathaniel Gorton ruled that — without the documents deemed state secrets — “the court is unconvinced” it could rule in favor for the Saudi-backed firm, Reuters reported.

He also noted that there was no basis in state or federal law for the firm’s case.

Gorton also noted that Jabri could not seek a judgment regarding his counter claim over Boston properties he acquired that the Saudi state-owned firm is seeking, citing the same state secrets privilege dilemma, according to Reuters.

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines invoked the state secrets claim earlier this year, a privilege that allows information to be withheld during a lawsuit if over national security concerns. 

The two were mired in a legal battle after Jabri, a longtime adviser to former Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef,  claimed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman sent a “hit squad” to kill him, though he says the plan was foiled by Canadian authorities. Saudi officials have refuted the accusations. 

Jabri denies allegations that he defrauded Sakab Saudi Holding Co. and nine other state-owned firms while he was a Saudi official. The 10 firms filed a lawsuit against him, alleging that he had swindled them out of $3.5 billion.

Tags Avril Haines Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Saad al-Jabri Saudi Arabia

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