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Canada rejects appeal by former Saudi spy chief over asset freeze

March 15, 2021 at 2:57 pm

A security guard stands outside the Superior Court of Justice in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on 10 November 2020 [COLE BURSTON/AFP via Getty Images]

A court in Canada rejected an appeal on Thursday by the former Saudi intelligence chief Saad Al-Jabri to lift a freeze order on his assets, which are estimated at hundreds of millions of dollars.

According to CBC, in a 30-page ruling the Superior Court Justice in Canada’s province of Ontario, Cory Gilmore, said that Al-Jabri had refused to answer “questions about allegations contained in a Toronto lawsuit that he funnelled security and counterterrorism funds to himself, his family and his associates.”

The ruling pointed out that Al-Jabri — a former Central Intelligence Agency counterterrorism expert — had, along with 21 others, “misappropriated” $4.3 billion from Saudi companies established to support counterterrorism activities between 2008 and 2017.

“Al-Jabri had not adequately explained any of the alleged fraudulent activities documented in a 150-page forensic report prepared for the plaintiffs by the accounting firm Deloitte,” said Gilmore in her ruling. “[Nor had he explained] how he came to accrue hundreds of millions of dollars in assets, including bank accounts in Europe, Malta, the British Virgin Islands, the United States and Canada.”

She also noted that he owned “luxury properties like his $13-million Bridle Path mansion in Toronto.”

Al-Jabri’s lawyers told Gilmore that the plaintiffs had misled the court by claiming that the former intelligence official had “fled Saudi Arabia for Turkey to evade a fraud investigation.” They insisted that he had fled because he feared for his safety.

Saudi Arabia: A police state of which Stalin would have approved