Saudi citizens in 180,000 court cases abroad

Most prominent cases include prince threatening to behead business partner, ‘prostitute’ claiming to be Saudi princess
By Courtney Trenwith
Wed 18 Dec 2013 03:03 PM

Saudi citizens have been involved in nearly 180,000 legal cases abroad in the past three years, the Foreign Ministry has revealed.

About 12,000 of those cases are ongoing.

“The remaining cases are still being heard in foreign courts. We will do everything we can to solve the problems facing our citizens abroad, so that they can return safely to their homes,” Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal said during a speech at a Saudi conference on Tuesday, as quoted by Arab News.

Prince Al Faisal did not reveal the nature of the court cases.

The most prominent cases published in the media this year include accusations that a Saudi prince threatened to behead his business partner, a woman accused of slavery in the US, another claiming to be a princess on property fraud charges, a Saudi student charged with killing an American bar owner and cases of terrorism.

The Saudi government is believed to have put forward the $2m bond demanded for Ziyad Abid, a 24-year-old Saudi aviation student in Missouri, US, who was charged with hiring his roommate to kill bar owner Blaine Whitworth in September, 2012.

However, he was still refused bail because the judge deemed him a flight risk. He was later cleared of the charges.

Also in the US, a woman described by authorities as a Saudi princess beat a charge of human trafficking earlier this year after she was accused of allegedly forcing another female to unwillingly work as her servant.

Another Saudi woman was accused of being a prostitute while pretending to be a Saudi princess during a UK trial over a $20m London property fraud.

Two London property developers accused the woman of being a fraud after they transferred six luxury London apartments worth £14m ($20.8m) into her name as part of a larger property deal which they believed would be funded by the woman’s family, which is part of the royal family.

Funds for the larger deal failed to materialise and the developers claimed the 30-year old woman refused to return ownership of the six apartments.

In one of the highest profile non-criminal cases involving a Saudi, a businessman from the kingdom successfully won a case in Europe's highest court overturning European Union sanctions based on ‘unjustified’ allegations he was involved in terrorist activities.

Also, on Sunday, two Saudi men kept in Guantanamo Bay for 11 years without charge were released.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Subscribe to Arabian Business' newsletter to receive the latest breaking news and business stories in Dubai,the UAE and the GCC straight to your inbox.