Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman got served a lawsuit via WhatsApp. Court documents show that he received and read the message.

mohammed bin salman mbs
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a session of the Shura Council in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on November 20, 2019.
  • Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was served a DC court summons on Whatsapp, an app he has been alleged to have used in the past to hack Jeff Bezos as well as to spy on famous slain critic Jamal Khashoggi and other dissidents
  • The case, filed by former top security advisor Dr. Saad Al-Jabri alleges that bin Salman set a hit squad to assassinate him in Canada.
  • Canadian authorities have confirmed the threat to Al-Jabri, and in the docket, the former official is described as a US intelligence asset.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

New documents filed to a US federal court in Washington, DC, revealed that on September 22, 2020, Mohammed Bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, was issued a summons via WhatsApp on charges of torture and directing an assassination attempt against Dr. Saad Al-Jabri with the famed "Tiger Squad" that killed Jamal Khashoggi. Al-Jabri, a former advisor to the Saudi Royal Family, filed the lawsuit on August 6, 2020. 

The recent photos offer an ironic confirmation of receipt by the Saudi Crown Prince. The summons was sent in both English and Arabic, according to the court document. The documents were also sent to co-defendants via WhatsApp, according to the court document.

 

"I was able to confirm that the Service Package and the Service Messages were delivered to each Alternative Service Defendant via WhatsApp, meaning that the message was successfully delivered to the recipient's phone," Thomas Musters, a computer forensics investigator, wrote in an affidavit filed to the court on Thursday, October 29. "Additionally, I was able to confirm that the Service Package and the Service Messages were opened by Defendants bin Salman, MiSK Foundation (served through Defendant bin Salman), Algasem, Alsaleh, and Alhamed, because WhatsApp displayed read receipts for the Service Package and the Service Messages."

In the affadavit's attached exhibits, the summons was served via the messaging platform that Bin Salman apparently uses and is alleged to have used as a vehicle to spy on Jeff Bezos and to hack the phone of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The docket was served at 4:05 p.m. ET via WhatsApp, and mark delivered, and twenty minutes later the message was marked as "read" by Bin Salman. with two blue checkmarks on September 22, 2020.

This case was filed by former Saudi security advisor Saad Al-Jabri on September 22, 2020, and the DC court also sent summons to 9 other Saudi officials, including Badr Al-Asaker, Saud Al-Qahtani and Ahmed Asiri. The Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Foundation (MiSK) Foundation was also subpoenaed.

In the lawsuit, Al-Jabri alleges that Bin Salman sent a 50 person "assassination squad" from Saudi Arabia to Canada in an attempt to "eliminate him" in October 2018. 

The former advisor also claimed that the assassination attempt took place days after Khashoggi was murdered by Saudi agents in at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, which the Saudi government has confessed was a premeditated act, but claimed the Saudi intelligence officers responsible went rogue.

The CIA eventually determined that Bin Salman likely plotted Khashoggi's assassination.

In 2017, The Globe and Mail reported that Canadian Security agencies placed Saad Al-Jabri under heightened security after an assassination attempt. Al-Jabri was the former counterintelligence chief under the former crown prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, who Mohammed bin Salman ousted in 2017. 

Saudi Arabia, under Bin Salman's regime, has issued Interpol red notices attempting to facilitate Al-Jabri's return to the kingdom, but the agency has denied the requests and deemed them politically motivated. Saudi Arabia has also pressured other countries to negotiate for Al-Jabri's return, and in the September 22 court case, Al-Jabri is referred to as a "US intelligence asset." 

The complaint alleges that Al-Jabri's knowledge of sensitive information about the royal family and inner workings of the Saudi court system make him a threat to the kingdom. Al-Jaabri's children were also disappeared in Saudi Arabia, which he claims the Saudi regime was behind, according to The New York Times.

Hatice Cengiz, the fiancee of Jamal Khashoggi, separately sued the Saudi crown prince and an entourage of 28 co-conspirators over the murder of her fiancee in a DC lawsuit filed on October 20, 2020. Khashoggi moved to the US in 2017 after distancing himself from the Saudi royal elite and started to write incisively about the Saudi regime for The Washington Post.

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