Two Saudi Princes Accused of LaunderingMoney for Hezbollah
Two Saudi princes on Tuesday sought to extricate themselves from a London legal battle with a Jordanian businessman who accuses them of laundering money for Hezbollah, the Shiite Islamicterrorist organization. Their lawyer called the accusation
Prince Mishal bin Abdulaziz al Saud, a brother of Saudi
King Abdullah, and his son Prince Abdulaziz bin Mishal, had previously argued they had sovereign immunity from suit but the courtsrejected that stance.They also tried to keep details of the case secret on the grounds that making the allegationspublic would damage Saudi relations with Britain and the United States, which considersHezbollah a terrorist organisation, but that failed in the Court of Appeal last week.The Hezbollah allegation is likely to raise concern in Saudi Arabia, because Hezbollah is backed by foe Iran, and Hezbollah fighters are supporting President Bashar al-Assad in Syria while Saudi Arabia is a major backer of rebel forces.In a court document filed in December 2011 and seen by Reuters, Almhairat says Prince Abdulazizinstigated a deal in Beirut in March 2010 whereby Fi Call issued a $5 million bank guarantee to aHezbollah intermediary named as Abdul Razzak. Almhairat says this was part of a money-laundering arrangement that earned Prince Abdulaziz $5million, and that when Almhairat questioned the deal he was threatened with death.
deal with whoever we want to deal with, whether
Hezbollah, the Mafia or even the
Prince Abdulaziz was quoted as saying in a phone call to Almhairat.
as you are instructed. Otherwise your head will be at my feet without your
the princewas alleged to have said.Prince Mishal, 86, is a former defence minister and now chairs the Allegiance Council that willoversee the succession to the Saudi throne.