A US-based lawsuit against Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman centered on a Caribbean oil refinery, but unexpectedly highlighted something else — the disappearance of his main rival.
Former Saudi Arabian crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef, unseated as heir to the throne by his cousin Prince Mohammad in 2017, has not been seen in public since his detention in March last year.
Bin Nayef, long seen as the CIA’s most trusted Saudi Arabian ally, served as the kingdom’s interior minister from 2012 before becoming crown prince three years later.
Photo: AFP / HO / SPA
The lawsuit pointed to Saudi Arabian government efforts to keep a tight lid on his whereabouts, with documents showing that the detained royal was represented by a US law firm that works for his rival.
The man behind the lawsuit, Saudi Arabian businessman Nader Turki Aldossari, is barred from leaving the kingdom along with his family members, according to letters from his lawyer to US President Joe Biden and other US officials.
The story began in June last year, when Aldossari filed a lawsuit in Pennsylvania on behalf of his son Rakan, a US citizen, against bin Nayef and other Saudi Arabian entities.
Aldossari alleged that they had failed to honor a decades-old contract related to a refinery project in the Caribbean nation of Saint Lucia.
However, the case posed a peculiar conundrum: How to serve a summons to a prince whose whereabouts were unknown?
The suit was amended to include Prince Mohammad, stating that he had placed bin Nayef under house arrest and seized his assets, thus preventing him from meeting his contractual obligations.
When Aldossari said that a summons could not be served against bin Nayef, the court ordered Prince Mohammad’s lawyers to help ascertain his location.
In March, Prince Mohammad’s counsel offered to provide bin Nayef’s address on a “confidential basis,” saying in a court filing that he faced terrorism-related threats due to his previous role as interior minister.
There was no mention of him being detained.
Aldossari’s counsel said that Prince Mohammad was “holding the former crown prince under house arrest.”
Bin “Nayef is effectively a prisoner of ... Saudi Arabia,” he said in a filing.
However, last month, the judge threw out Aldossari’s breach-of-contract case, leaving the questions of bin Nayef’s status and whereabouts unresolved.
Aldossari’s lawyer James Tallman told reported that he plans to appeal — as well as fight his own clients’ travel ban, which he fears “could escalate to detention.”
Saudi Arabian authorities have not publicly commented on the detention of bin Nayef.
Prince Mohammad has detained or sidelined multiple royal rivals in his rise to become the kingdom’s de facto ruler, but a particular target has been bin Nayef, who enjoys “much more support within the royal family,” said Bruce Riedel, a former long-serving CIA officer.
Offering Sinovac Biotech COVID-19 vaccines to the public in Singapore for the first time since Friday, several private clinics reported overwhelming demand for the Chinese-made shot, despite already available rival vaccines having far higher efficacy. Singapore has vaccinated almost half its 5.7 million population with at least one dose of the vaccines from Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna. Both have shown efficacy rates of well over 90 percent against symptomatic disease in clinical trials, compared with Sinovac’s 51 percent. Earlier this week, officials in Indonesia said that more than 350 medical workers have caught COVID-19, despite being vaccinated with Sinovac and dozens have been
A Singaporean woman who starved, assaulted and ultimately killed her domestic worker was yesterday sentenced to 30 years in prison, with the judge describing the case as “among the worst types of culpable homicide.” The abuse inflicted on Burmese national Piang Ngaih Don, 24, was particularly awful and captured on closed-circuit television installed in the family’s home. The domestic worker was stamped on, strangled, choked, battered with brooms and burnt with an iron, court documents showed. The domestic worker died in July 2016, after her employer, Gaiyathiri Murugayan, repeatedly assaulted her over several hours. Gaiyathiri, 41, pleaded guilty in February to 28 charges, including
CROWDED HOSPITALS: Deaths have begun to pick up as the COVID-19 hospitalization rate exceed 70 percent in 87 cities across the country, government data showed Indonesia’s COVID-19 cases are nearing 2 million, with hospitals starting to fill up as the country grapples with the highly transmissible Delta variant of the virus. The government confirmed 13,737 new cases on Sunday, bringing the total to 1.99 million. Deaths have begun to pick up as the COVID-19 hospitalization rate exceed 70 percent in 87 cities across the country, with 371 people dying from the disease on Sunday — the worst since April, government data showed. “Because this is concentrated in certain regencies and cities, we can still mobilize resources from other areas,” Indonesian National Nurses Association chairman Harif Fadhillah said. “If
‘CONSPIRACY’: Three environmentalists of advocacy group Mother Nature were arrested for documenting waste drainage into Phnom Penh’s Tonle Sap River A Cambodian court has charged four environmental advocates with insulting the king and plotting against the government, an official said on Monday, after three of them were arrested for documenting waste run-off into a river. Use of royal defamation laws in Cambodia is a relatively new phenomenon, with the legislation only enacted in 2018. The three environmentalists — Sun Ratha, Ly Chandaravuth and Yim Leanghy of advocacy group Mother Nature — were on Wednesday arrested for documenting the draining of waste into Phnom Penh’s Tonle Sap River. Over the weekend, they were “charged with conspiracy to plot and for insulting the king,” Phnom