RIYADH (Middle East Eye) – Former Saudi spymaster Saad al-Jabri has asked a Canadian court to throw out a lawsuit accusing him of embezzling funds, claiming evidence used to support allegations was likely obtained through torture.
In a court filing seen by The Globe and Mail, Jabri’s lawyers asked the Ontario Superior Court to dismiss the lawsuit, saying that allowing evidence that was produced through torture was an abuse of the Canadian legal system.
“The plaintiffs have obtained information from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Public Prosecution office … that was obtained through grave human rights abuses, very likely including torture,” the motion said.
The court filing also includes an affidavit from Jabri’s daughter, Hissah al-Muzaini, who says her husband, Salem al-Muzaini, was detained by Saudi authorities in 2017 and 2018, and also tortured. The affidavit says her husband was questioned about financial allegations against Jabri and about the companies that were allegedly used to commit fraud.
Muzaini was “coerced to sign false statements, including statements that relate directly to the allegations in the claim”, the 5 July motion says, as reported by the Canadian newspaper.
In the affidavit, Muzaini describes several instances of her husband’s torture, including Saudi security having “whipped him, hit him with iron bars, put him in stress positions, deprived him of food, electrocuted him, and humiliated him by making him crawl on the floor and bark like a dog”.
The Saudi embassy in Washington did not respond to Middle East Eye’s request for comment by time of publication.
Jabri worked closely under former Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, who in 2017 was ousted, placed under house arrest, and replaced by Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) as the country’s crown prince. Jabri fled the country before the palace coup and landed in Canada in 2018, where he currently resides.
Since deposing his cousin bin Nayef, MBS has centralized power and targeted any and all perceived foes and potential opponents. He is reported to have arrested several members of the royal family, including Prince Faisal bin Abdullah al-Saud, a son of the late King Abdullah.