US court summons Saudi crown prince over alleged assassination attempt
A court in the United States has summoned Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) based on a lawsuit initiated by a former senior Saudi intelligence official accusing the kingdom's de facto ruler of an assassination attempt against him.
The District of Columbia court on Friday issued the summons, just a day after Saad Aljabri filed a lawsuit against MBS, accusing the top royal of sending a hit squad to trap and kill him in the United States and Canada, Qatar’s Al Jazeera broadcaster reported on Sunday.
The ex-official, who functioned as a top aide in the Saudi Interior Ministry for years, now lives in Canada and is reportedly under increased protection by police and private security guards.
The summons, which mentioned 12 other people by name in addition to the crown prince, said, “If you fail to respond, judgment by default will be entered against you for the relief demanded in the complaint.”
The lawsuit alleges that a team of Saudi agents carrying forensic gear and including forensic experts arrived at an airport in Ontario in October 2018. They tried to enter on Canadian tourist visas but were turned away by Canadian border officials.
Aljabri claimed that his close ties with the US intelligence community and deep knowledge of the prince’s activities had turned him into one of the key targets of bin Salman.
“Few places hold more sensitive, humiliating and damning information about defendant bin-Salman than the mind and memory of Dr. Saad - except perhaps the recordings Dr. Saad made in anticipation of his killing,” the lawsuit read.
Riyadh has already issued Interpol red notices, the highest-level notice, seeking Aljabri’s extradition, accusing the former senior intelligence officer of corruption. The international organization, however, has dismissed the notices as political.
Nevertheless, the Saudi regime has urged other countries to send Aljabri back to the Arab kingdom.