State-owned Saudi companies have sued the country’s former secret service tsar in a Canadian court, claiming he stole billions of dollars, the AFP said on Friday.
Tahakom Investment Co’s 10 subsidiaries, owned by the Saudi Arabian sovereign wealth fund, said in a civil lawsuit filed with the Ontario Supreme Court that Saad Aljabri had committed a “massive fraud” worth at least $ 3.47 billion have.
Aljabri, exiled in Canada, was a top aide to Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who was deposed as heir to the throne by Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a palace coup in 2017.
A campaign for Aljabri said in a statement that he and his family “are vigorously fighting the recycled corruption allegations and are confident that they will be able to reject them”.
Prince Mohammed bin Nayef remains in custody in Riyadh.
The Ontario court has ordered a freeze on Aljabri’s assets worldwide.
The lawsuit describes real estate in Saudi Arabia, luxury condominiums in Boston, and several properties in Canada as illicit gains.
She accused Aljabri of channeling money from Saudi Arabia-funded companies to himself, family and friends for counter-terrorism activities – including buying security equipment, flight agents around the world, and paying informants.
“While the investigation is ongoing, it is clear that from at least 2008 to 2017, Aljabri conducted and monitored a conspiracy involving at least 21 conspirators in at least 13 jurisdictions to misuse the funds under the lawsuit.”
His supporters say the lawsuit is an attempt to divert attention from the “brutality” of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS.
Aljabri filed a lawsuit in the United States last August alleging that MBS sent a “hit squad” to Canada in 2018 to try to kill and dismember them, as did Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi , was murdered in Istanbul in October this year.
But the conspiracy was reportedly discovered and disrupted by Canadian police before they could act.
The murder of Khashoggi sparked international outcry and tarnished the reputation of the oil-rich kingdom and the crown prince.
Aljabri said MBS wanted him dead because he was close to Prince Mohammed bin Nayef and because he had confidential information about the de facto Saudi ruler that would affect Washington’s close relationship with Riyadh.
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