The attorney of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has joined the legal defence team of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, Anadolu reported on Tuesday. Bin Salman is involved in two cases before the US courts related to human rights violations and the killing and attempted killing of dissidents.
Barry J Pollack will join a team including Michael Kellogg, who defended Saudi Arabia for 20 years from lawsuits by the families of 9/11 victims, and Mitchell Berger, who defended the largest Saudi bank over allegations that it supported Al-Qaeda.
The defence team will represent Bin Salman in cases dealing with complaints filed in America which relate to an attempt to assassinate former top Saudi intelligence official Saad Al-Jabri. It is alleged that Bin Salman wanted to prevent the former official from sharing secrets about his climb to power.
Bin Salman is also accused of ordering the assassination and dismemberment of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October 2018. Khashoggi was working for the Washington Post at the time of his murder in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
According to the Post, Bin Salman is accused in both cases of carrying out flagrant human rights violations, torture and murder. The complaints have been filed by David Pressman for Al-Jabri and Keith M Harper for Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, and a human rights group he founded.
In August, the US District Court for the District of Columbia issued a summons for Bin Salman, a day after Al-Jabri filed the lawsuit accusing the Crown Prince of sending a hit squad to Canada to try to kill him.