Global Justice Foundation Seeks Investigation into Dubai Court Experts’ Role in Saudi Minister Racketeering Plot
Washington, D.C. – The integrity of three subject matter experts in an ongoing, multibillion dollar case being heard by the Dubai Courts has come into question following an investigation by the D.C. based Global Justice Foundation, a nonprofit focused on combatting commercial corruption.
The Foundation reviewed case files, testimony, and expert reports in a matter that the Dubai Court of First Instance ruled on during November 2020, awarding Omar Ayesh, founder of real estate developer Tameer, 1.6 billion UAE dirhams plus penalties, amounting to over half a billion U.S. dollars. Ahmed S. AlRajhi, Saudi Arabia’s current Minister of Human Resources and Social Development, and a controlling shareholder in the company accused of embezzlement, racketeering, forgery, and witness intimidation, must pay the award; however, it has since been referred to the Ruler’s Court of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as of May 2021 on appeal.
The Global Justice Foundation, however, exposed disturbing behavior by engineering and property experts Mustafa AlSheryani and Seema Al Langawi, and accounting/finance expert Ali Al Kaitoob, in the months leading up to the November ruling indicating possible collusion with AlRajhi in an attempt to undermine proceedings. AlSheryani, a court-appointed real estate expert who had awarded Ayesh 6.8 billion dirhams in the expert committee’s first formal report in the case, reversed his opinion despite the lack of any new evidence to justify the decision. His revised findings accepted an AlRajhi-submitted valuation as reasonable, despite it eliminating half the permissible building area and further devaluing the remainder based on “special circumstances” at half the real worth, claiming inexplicably that a “distressed” transaction did not affect the property’s fair market value. The Foundation expressed particular concern that the report he had previously rejected was now central to his amended conclusions, a gravely questionable action by a court-appointed expert.
AlKaitoob was appointed by AlRajhi following a decade of refusing to audit company finances. Leaked internal correspondence proved there was intent to defraud by ensuring the company’s finances remained unaudited due to “legal cases in the UAE courts between ARHG [AlRajhi Holding Group] and the Partner [Ayesh], which be adversely effected [sic] if ARHG conduct an Internal Audit of Tameer.” AlKaitoob endorsed the financial statements which 25 court-appointed experts in seven committees said were unreliable. In another instance of impropriety, despite Tameer later apologizing, AlKaitoob attempted to communicate with a court-appointed expert privately in an abuse of process clearly attempting to influence him in favor of AlRajhi during proceedings despite explicit instructions not to do so by the court’s expert committee chairman.
Real estate expert Al Langawi, whom AlRajhi appointed to submit a report on Tameer asset values, perjured herself during her testimony. She indicated she had visited a building site and saw an empty plot when photographic evidence showed a project was under construction, disproving her claim. She also stated she had reached her conclusions based purely on studying the documented evidence; yet upon cross examination acknowledged her report contained allegations coached verbally by AlRajhi representatives.
The Global Justice Foundation expressed its deep concern to the Dubai courts, asking that an investigation take place on the three experts’ conduct. Accompanying the letter, the Foundation shared an 80-page legal analysis by Bruce Casino, Esq., a compliance and white-collar crimes expert. Casino compared the crimes he examined to those of Bernie Madoff, Enron, and others; and he highlighted how AlRajhi brothers and their employees orchestrated a strategy of asset devaluation, restructuring fraud, compliance violations, fraudulent financial reporting, subornation, and coercion to cheat Ayesh as well as hundreds of investors.
The requests were submitted electronically to the offices of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, the Ruler of Dubai and the UAE Minister of Defense; His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and Chairman of the Court of His Highness the Ruler; His Excellency Chancellor Essam Issa Al Humaidan, Attorney General of Dubai; and His Excellency Taresh Eid AL Mansouri, Director of Dubai Courts.
The GJF is a non-profit, Washington, D.C.-based organization helping nations with anti-corruption goals hold people in positions of influence accountable, particularly where leaders may be unaware of corruption within government ranks. We count among our volunteer Board and counsel eminent lawyers including Michael Steele, former chairman of the Republican National Committee, and former Virginia Congressman Jim Moran (D) as well as former federal prosecutor and Assistant United States Attorney Sidney Powell and former United Sates circuit judge and U.S. solicitor-general, Ken Starr.