by Irina Tsukerman
Al Jabri is making the stale point that if you’re not guilty of anything you should not fight or avoid discovery.
Saad Al Jabri’s son is threatening Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman with additional lawsuits in the United States in case the Crown Prince visits the country. This is not only lawfare that is a misuse of the US legal system to settle political scores by foreign agents, extremists, and seditionists, but also a blackmail.
Al Jabri is taking advantage of the Arab world’s ignorance of the US legal system and is trying to make the absolutely standard Mohammed bin Salman defense strategy to dismiss the case on jurisdictional grounds and sovereign immunity like something evasive and suspicious.
As I expressed concern on the sovereign immunity defense in the past, it is typically given to heads of state. However, Al Jabri is wrong, and any government official can claim immunity successfully if acting in an official capacity.
Some recent examples of sovereign immunity granted to non-sovereigns: The Qatari official Al Rumaihi who visited the US in 2018 and was sued by various parties and attempted to bribe the Trump administration. Moroccan diplomat Jamal BenOmar, involved in espionage on behalf of Qatar.
Al Jabri also treats sovereign immunity defense as “legal tricks” by pointing to one minor lawsuit which was dismissed on the basis of the action in question being considered an official act. That’s literally the definition of sovereign immunity.
Al Jabri sets out the possible pathways for Mohammed Bin Salman to resolve these lawsuits:
- The success of the requests to drop the lawsuits, and this is a very likely possibility.
- That the court considers him immune because the King authorized him to commit the crimes with which he is accused.
- Grant him immunity from the Biden administration.
- To become King or Prime Minister.
Al Jabri then continues with the obvious and points out that in the event that the legal and political strategies should fail, the cases go to discovery stage, at which point the defendant has to turn over various documents which may help the petitioners.
But Al Jabri gives away his real agenda by insinuating that these documents will inevitably contain evidence that will sink MBS and point to his guilt in engaging in various illegal acts – such as hacking and murder. How would he know any such evidence exists?
Al Jabri is making the stale point that if you’re not guilty of anything you should not fight or avoid discovery and just turnover whatever is asked. The reality of the US legal system is that discovery inevitably becomes a fishing expedition to embarrass the parties.
Indeed, the endless fight over various documents is that legal teams deliberately demand items that have nothing to do with proving specific legal claims, but seek to make life difficult for the party in question and to use the process to air unrelated grievances.
The point of this article is in the conclusion: Al Jabri raises the question (“concern”) that MBS may try to avoid the inherent risk of dealing with the legal process by seizing power and appointing himself a King or PM.
If that refrain sounds familiar, it is because I recently pointed out how Al Jabri’s fellow travelers such as Omar Abdulaziz and his cronies are pushing the line that King Salman has become invisible and that Mohammed Bin Salman is stealthily taking over power in Saudi Arabia.
In case any of you are confused as to what Saad Al Jabri, his son, and the entire group of litigants against MBS, their associates such as Saad Al Faqih, and their fellow propagandists from Democracy For Arab World Now (DAWN) stand for, here’s a taste: A twitter user @yusefren responded with a comment, “Muslims believe in cursing the Jews… The Saudi Curricula taught us that until 2019. It has now been removed”.
Irina Tsukerman is a Human Rights and National Security Attorney based in New York. She has written extensively on geopolitics and US foreign policy for a variety of American, Israeli, and other international publications. She can be followed under @irinatsukerman.
Disclaimer: Views expressed by writers in this section are their own and do not reflect Milli Chronicle’s point-of-view.