Daily US Times: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has denied allegations that he sent a hit squad to Canada to kill an exiled Saudi former intelligence officer.
In a lawsuit filed in a US court, former Saudi intelligence officer Saad al-Jabri has claimed that the assassination attempt took place in Canada, where he fled three years ago.
Mr Jabri, 61, says Mohammed bin Salman – regarded as Saudi Arabia’s de-facto ruler – wanted him dead because he knew too much.
The crown prince said Mr Jabri was trying to conceal his own crimes.
The 35-year-old price pointed out that he is immune from prosecution as a head of state. Serving foreign leaders are also normally immune from civil suits in the United States.
However, Mr Jabri is suing Mohammed bin Salman under of the Alien Tort statute and the 1991 Torture Victim Protection Act, which allow foreign nationals to file complaints in the US over alleged human rights abuses.
Lawyers for the crown prince said Mr Jabri’s complaint was “steeped in drama, including an introduction that likens the crown prince to one of Shakespeare’s greatest villains”.
They said: “But, regardless of its merits as literature, the complaint fails as a legal pleading.”
Mr Jabri was for years the key go-between for Britain’s MI6 and other Western spy agencies in Saudi Arabia.
What is Mohammed bin Salman accused of?
The 106-page complaint was filed in Washington DC in August. It accuses the crown prince Mohammad of attempting to murder Mr Jabri because he possessed “damning information”.
The court document says this includes overseeing a team of personal mercenaries labelled the Tiger Squad and alleged corruption.
Members of this hit squad were involved in the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey, who was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, it says.