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  • Writer's pictureThe Paladins

The battle for the Kuwaiti Emiracy, Chapter 19

On 6 September 2022 the new British Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Liz Truss MP, was appointed to her post by her Majesty the Queen at Her Majesty's Scottish residence at Balmoral, west of Aberdeen. On 6 September 2022 the Geneva appellate court, in the by now notorious 'Kuwaiti Sheikhs Affair', delivered a preliminary judgment the purpose of which was to kick the proceedings into the long grass and ensure that they would never be resolved. The confluence of these two dates was no coincidence.

The 'Kuwaiti Sheikhs Affair' is a piece of litigation initiated before the Geneva courts by a leading member of the Kuwaiti Royal Family, Nasser Al-Sabah, against another senior member of the Kuwaiti Royal Family and his cousin, Ahmed Al-Sabah. The allegation made was that Ahmed had forged or fabricated some videos of his cousin Nasser, amongst other things, plotting a coup d'etat against Sabah Al-Sabah, the two men's uncle, and Emir of Kuwait until his death in 2020. The proceedings had been rambling on, assisted by a facilitation payment on the part of Nasser and a particularly vociferous and corrupt prosecutor, since 2015.

The wealth of the two Sheikhs and cousins is estimated as no less than:

USD50 billion (Nasser Al-Sabah)

USD800 million (Ahmed Al-Sabah)

The Kuwaiti Royal Family is one of the wealthiest families in the world, and these two individuals two of its most wealthy members. Nasser's money is from oil, deposited in Geneva banks; Ahmed's fortune comes from scraping a percentage off international sporting events and organisations such as the International Olympic Committee in Lausanne.

Using a courtroom was a peculiar way of resolving the succession dispute for the Emiracy between the two men, chosen really only because Sheikh Nasser had such substantial bank deposits in Geneva; and by reason of the presence of one man in Geneva, an English lawyer who the Kuwaiti Royal Family had chosen as 'kingmaker for a reason lost in the mists of time.

The first instance court had delivered a judgment so incoherent that it was roundly slated by everyone; and in particular by what was then Her Majesty's Government (now His Majesty's Government). The then His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (now His Majesty King Charles III) was approached, because this was an affair of state involving another Royal Family with whom the British Royal Family is imagined properly to maintain friendly and cordial relations. Ultimately a British government legal opinion was sought and obtained from an independent senior lawyer, who concluded that the first instance judgment was a travesty of justice that ought not to have involved criticism of an English lawyer, the English legal system or the English legal experts. The same result was procured from a senior English Judge, Senior Master Fontaine, in parallel English legal proceedings that the Geneva court ignored.

A panoply of other accusations against Sheikh Ahmed were also made in High Court proceedings in London, to the effect that he is a major international criminal involved in some of the worst kinds of money laundering: something the FBI are investigating in the USA. And so the British Government took this affair both to the Kuwaiti Royal Family and to the government of the Helvetic Confederation, and respectfully asked them to correct matters, both in the Geneva appeal courts and via a payment of compensation to the English lawyer involved.

Trapped in the vice of a robust senior English legal opinion and parallel English court judgment, the Geneva authorities and the Kuwaiti Royal Family agreed to a fair settlement of the dispute between them, in which the Geneva appellate court would reach a series of neutral conclusions about the allegations of video forgery; the stains of improper accusations of forgery would be lifted from the lawyers involved (all of whom were foreign and seem to have been victimised by the first instance Geneva court and prosecutor for this reason alone - none of the Swiss lawyers involved received so much as a scratch), and the Kuwaiti Royal Family would compensate the lawyers who they had wronged out of their own ample funds. But the two Sheikhs, despite agreeing to this resolution in principle, then sought to derail the complex diplomatic and legal deal that had been reached.

Hence the two Kuwaiti Sheikhs conspired to sink the appeal upon which His Majesty's Government are insisting, currently scheduled for 16-18 November 2022. That is because the two Sheikhs fear that the appeal would leave both at fault for their criminality in making facilitation payments to initiate legal proceedings; and for forging videos, respectively. Moreover, they fear that a just result to this dispute would leave wide open the corruption and wrongdoing in which they participated. The two Kuwaiti Sheikhs want to destroy all the lawyers involved in the case, so that those lawyers are not in the future sitting on their secrets.

The following is what the Kuwaiti Sheikhs and their Genevois lawyers agreed to cook up, to try to bring the Geneva legal proceedings to a halt. The two cousins moved from being sworn enemies to engage in a sudden exercise in cooperation so as to avoid the peril they foresaw for them forthcoming in a fair and just November 2022 appeal hearing. In the meantime the two cousins had both lost the Kuwaiti Crown because they had both come out of this litigation so badly. Amidst their legalistic squabblings, the Emiracy went to a third party compromise candidate.

1. One of the lawyers to Nasser Al-Sabah (the plaintiff) transferred, between the first instance court judgment in September 2021 and the forthcoming appeal on 16--18 November 2022, to the legal team of his ostensible opponent Ahmed Al-Sabah, his cousin and the defendant he had been pursuing for all these years.

2. Nasser's remaining lawyers have claimed that this transfer excludes, as a matter of professional ethics, Ahmed's legal team from continuing to represent him.

3. After some hesitation, and no doubt internal pressure from the Geneva lawyers involved, the Geneva appeal court due to hear the November appeal has agreed, meaning that Ahmed has to get new lawyers. The Geneva court documents showing what has happened appear here: Their reasoning is palpable nonsense.

(Documents to be inserted)

4. Ahmed will appeal, meaning that the November appeal dates may be vacated indefinitely while the matter goes to the only appeal court above the Geneva appeal tribunal: Swiss Federal Tribunal in Lausanne (this can take years).

5. Therefore the appeal judgment - which must exonerate the English lawyer because the first instance judgment was such nonsense - will take place only indefinitely far into the future. It could be years given how slow the Federal Tribunal - Switzerland's top court and the only court to which an appeal lies can be, especially when it wants to be. The 16-18 November 2022 hearing therefore poses a danger of being vacated, pending the appeal on this issue. That is what Geneva legal counsel have advised.

6. Therefore if the Kuwaiti Sheikhs' have their way then the appeal decision exonerating the English lawyer - which would leave Nasser and Ahmed to blame for their respective wrongdoings on foolishly litigating succession to the Kuwaiti Emiracy in a Geneva courtroom,, as well as implicating still further Hamad Al-Haroun, Ahmed's appallingly corrupt sidekick and a documented notorious international forgerer - this appeal will never take place. Nor will the consequent obligation to compensate those harmed by the Kuwaiti Sheikhs' criminality.

7. This is an entirely artificial exercise in derailing a just outcome for the Geneva proceedings, made up between Nasser and his cousin Ahmed and their Geneva lawyers, presumably to avoid embarrassment to the Kuwait Royal Family consequent upon a proper appeal with a just and fair outcome.

This is no good. Indeed it is a scandal that the Geneva courts are going along with it.

Geneva lawyers to Sheikh Nasser Al-Sabah, Jean-Pierre Jacquemoud (top) and Pascal Maurer (bottom). Are they honest, or have they conspired in a fictitious scheme to delay the appeal hearing in the Kuwaiti Sheikhs' Affair as a result of their own hubris and loathing of a successful foreign lawyer?

The correct way of dealing with such a situation as a lawyer changing law firms - if it occurred in good faith which one can be sure it did not (it was cooked by the lawyers) - is just to exclude the individual lawyer moving law firms from participating in the appeal; not to ban Ahmed's legal representation altogether and hence trigger a Federal Tribunal appeal of indefinite length and hence to deny justice. After all, no new facts are being raised in the appeal and hence the transferring lawyer cannot have any secrets to transfer. There are none. The factual record in the case is complete and will not change.

It is too suspicious that a lawyer for Nasser (a junior one) moved to work for Ahmed. The purpose of this extraordinary transfer was to wreck the appeal, as is obvious to everybody.

A just appeal on the merits of the case is necessary to restore improperly stolen reputation and finances, and the Al-Sabah family, the Kuwaiti Royal Family, do not want these things because an English lawyer is a convenient scapegoat for their criminality. So they have manufactured this extraordinary procedural irregularity. It is a disgrace and it must be stopped.

This outrage was executed on the first day of the new British Prime Minister Liz Truss holding office. The purpose of doing this was to hope that His Majesty's Government would overlook this corrupt judicial scandal unfolding in Geneva, Switzerland under the eyes of Kuwaiti money and a corrupt backroom deal between the two Kuwaiti cousins.

Both the Swiss and the Kuwaitis will find extreme British displeasure at such a scandalous attempt to derail British justice, of which we are rightly proud. They will find pressure both from the office of the new Prime Minister and from that of His Majesty the King, who the Swiss were not aware had already been appraised of the matter. Let it be, and let these corrupt indecent fools be swept away in the fresh and transparent waters of English justice and our sense of honest fair play.

The proper course - for which His Majesty's Government should push with all their might -is for the appeal in the Kuwaiti Sheikhs' Affair' to proceed on 16-18 November 2022 as scheduled. The fact that Ahmed suddenly has no lawyers is nothing but a product of his own artifice. An exorbitantly rich man, declaring his net wealth at the first trial at some USD800 million, he can easily pay to hire new lawyers for an appeal some two months away. This story must reach a conclusion, removing the non-Kuwaiti parties from the horrendous judicial mess the two Kuwaiti cousins deliberately manufactured, so that those people may reconstruct and get on with their lives. The extent to which Nasser and Ahmed Al-Sabah of the Kuwaiti Royal Family then want to continue to fight out their battles in a courtroom, perhaps for the rest of their days, will then be entirely up to them.

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