Saudi Algosaibi 'wins damages claim'
Washington, November 9, 2011
The Grand Court of the Cayman Islands yesterday granted a default judgment in favour of Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers (AHAB) against Maan Al Sanea, said a report.
AHAB said it would now push for an assessment of damages for conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duty against Sanea, a fellow Saudi, who declined to present a defence, the Financial Times reported.
Representatives of one of the kingdom’s leading business families said they expected to receive damages of “billions of dollars”, with the judgment marking a “significant development in recovery efforts against Maan al-Sanea,” it added.
Sanea, who is married into the Algosaibi family, denied Ahab claims he had defrauded the family group of up to $10 billion while working for one of their financial businesses by borrowing money on their behalf but without their consent.
He is battling his relatives in the Algosaibi family over who is responsible for events that left debts of about $20 billion outstanding to local and international banks, one of the region’s worst corporate defaults.
Sanea has appealed to the privy council to reject the case on jurisdictional grounds, the FT report said.
“His position remains that the dispute between two families from Saudi Arabia can only be resolved properly in Saudi Arabia,” said Louis Castellani, of Harbottle & Lewis, who represents Sanea’s Saad Group conglomerate.
Meanwhile, four global banks have been ordered to hand over thousands of potentially incriminating documents in an ongoing legal battle between Al Sanea and the Algosaibi family.
A New York court told HSBC, Standard Chartered, Citi and Bank of America to release papers relating to bank accounts held by Al Sanea, despite the banks' pleadings the evidence could be used against them, UK newspaper The Telegraph said.
The four banks, which handled more than $1 trillion of money linked to the Algosaibi family, had argued the information could be used to bring cases against them, the paper reported.
Judge Jed Rakoff said the documents could raise questions over whether the banks had taken 'reasonable steps to ascertain who their customer was.'-TradeArabia News Service