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Saudi to US: Don’t use universal jurisdiction to prosecute crown prince

November 5, 2020 at 9:45 am

Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (C) attends a meeting with US Defence Secretary and White House Deputy National Security Advisor in Riyadh on April 19, 2017 [JONATHAN ERNST/AFP via Getty Images]

Saudi Arabia yesterday told the US “not to use the principle of universal jurisdiction” to prosecute Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman as the royal was summoned a part of a lawsuit into an alleged assassination attempt of a Saudi dissident.

Nida Abu- Ali, the First Secretary and Member of the Kingdom’s Permanent Delegation to the United Nations, said during the United Nations General Assembly Sixth Committee meeting that her country calls “not to use the principle of universal jurisdiction in order to undermine the principle of state sovereignty and interfere in their internal affairs and immunity”.

“Any attempt to implement universal jurisdiction without giving consideration to these fundamentals is an excuse and an entry point for politicising the judiciary in countries,” Abu- Ali said, adding that “resorting to jurisdiction must be in certain cases of serious crimes, and in cases where the states in which the crimes were committed are unwilling or unable to exercise their jurisdiction.”

Late last month it was revealed that Bin Salman was informed of a US court’s lawsuit against him via the WhatsApp messaging app. The summons was for the court case sent to Bin Salman, which were sent in both English and Arabic on 22 September, were in regards to the lawsuit filed against him in August over allegations of his attempted assassination of exiled former Saudi intelligence chief Saad Al-Jabri in Canada two years ago.

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