Kenneth Starr’s new group makes SA and UAE uncomfortable

Kenneth Starr’s new group makes SA and UAE uncomfortable

  • June 22, 2019
Dennis Lennox

It fell under the radar when it was announced, a new project with some major names from the political right came together. This group aims to fight fraud and corruption in the Middle East at a pivotal time for US relations in the tumultuous region.

Launched last month at the National Press Club in Washington, Global Justice Foundation includes former Clinton-era independent counsel Kenneth Starr and Sidney Powell, a former federal prosecutor who has outspoken in calling out corruption in the Deep State’s war against President Donald Trump.

GJF aims to fight fraud and corruption in the Middle East. The first case the group has highlighted is Tameer Holding. They claim that it is among the largest-ever cases of real estate fraud in the Middle East.

On one side is Omar Ayesh, and on the other side are two Saudi brothers, Abdullah al-Rajhi and Ahmed al-Rajhi.

Ayesh, who created the foundation but says it will work on cases beyond his. He accuses them of carrying out an Enron-level fraud estimated at $1.85 billion. Also, they were slow-walked through the courts of the UAE for 11 years with no resolution.

The details aren’t that important, nor the incredibly sensational sum of money. What makes this really interesting is the direct connection to the Saudi government headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Because Ahmed al-Rajhi is the cabinet minister for labor and social development.

Opening up Saudi Arabia to international investment and development  was a top priority for MBS, but Tameer or other cases could make achieving that goal more difficult for the future king.

This is also a critical test for the UAE — best famous for Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Also, for its public institutions when the country’s prime minister, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, publicly says nobody is above the law.

Speaking about her involvement, Powell said she shares Ayesh’s passion for seeking justice.

‘We have a huge problem worldwide: Business requires certainty within which to operate.’ The former federal prosecutor said. ‘If Dubai wants to be the financial capital of the Middle East, it should create a legal system. This system pays more than lip service to the rule of law.’

Starr echoed her remarks during the National Press Club launch. ‘No one is above the law. It is easy to say and hard to achieve, especially when you have power,’ he said. ‘There needs to be an avenue where disputes, commercial and otherwise, can be quickly and fairly addressed.’

Starr and Powell’s involvement in Ayesh’s newly launched Global Justice Foundation gives the Middle East notice that Washington’s biggest players are watching.

It also complicates the already complicated sale of arms to Saudi Arabia and the UAE as the US Senate voted Thursday to block the Trump administration from going ahead with the sales.

Needless to say, the Tameer case is probably the last thing Saudi and UAE rulers want to hear about right now.
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