Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman has rejected all allegations that he sent a hit squad to assassinate exiled former intelligence chief Saad Al-Jabri. The de-facto ruler of the Kingdom is being sued by 62-year-old Al-Jabri in the US courts.
The attempted kidnap and murder are alleged to have been plotted just days after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
According to the case filed by Al-Jabri, Bin Salman personally controlled a team of mercenaries known as the Tiger Squad "to fulfil his murderous desire" and have him assassinated in Canada. The 106-page complaint filed by Al-Jabri in Washington DC in August claims that the prince wanted him killed because he possesses "damning information". It is claimed that the heir to the Saudi throne has obtained a religious fatwa (opinion) authorising the killing of the former top intelligence official.
Al-Jabri is seeking redress through America's Alien Tort Statute and the 1991 Torture Victim Protection Act, under which foreign nationals are able to file complaints in the US over human rights abuses.
The US District Court for Columbia issued a summons order for Bin Salman in August. The Royal Court in Riyadh slammed it as "merely a public relations" act.
Details of the prince's response were released in new court filings. Bin Salman says that Al-Jabri is attempting to cover up his own crimes, which include misspending or the outright theft of around $11 billion of government funds. Al-Jabri denies this.
"The flaws in this complaint are so apparent and run so deep that it can only be regarded as an attempt to divert attention from the plaintiff's massive theft," claims the latest Saudi filing, as reported by the BBC. "The Crown Prince is the King's son and designated successor. Together with the King, he sits at the apex of Saudi Arabia's government. He is entitled to status-based immunity from any suit in a US court."