Thai Blue Diamond Affair: Kingdom demands justice

Updated 04 July 2014
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Thai Blue Diamond Affair: Kingdom demands justice

A source at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has demanded justice for the murder of a Saudi citizen in Thailand whose case was dismissed earlier this year by a Thai criminal court due to lack of evidence.
Mohammed Al-Ruwaili, a Saudi businessman, had traveled to Thailand in 1989 to investigate the theft of gems worth $20 million belonging to the Saudi royal family, only to be abducted and killed in what became known as the “Blue Diamond Affair.”
“The Saudi government does not wish to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries,” said the ministry official.
“While the Kingdom does not question the fairness of the judicial system, the Saudi government takes issue with what happened during the trial.”
“The judge presiding over the case had been replaced right before sentencing,” he said. “This, coupled with negative political influence, paved the way for meddling in the country’s judicial system and, as such, in the final outcome of the trial.”
Three Saudi diplomats were shot execution-style in Bangkok days before Ruwaili vanished in 1990 and Saudi Arabia has long suspected official involvement in the killings.
“This also indicates that the Thai government had not done enough to resolve the mystery surrounding Al-Ruwaili’s assassination and that of three other Saudi diplomats, nor has it done enough to bring the murderers to justice,” he said.
“We urge the Thai government to do what is right in this case and put political factors aside,” he said.
A Thai court had dismissed a case against five men who were accused of kidnapping and killing Ruwaili, including a senior police officer, on March 31 after a criminal Court ruled there was insufficient evidence to try the men.
The gems and jewelry had been stolen from a Saudi prince’s palace by Kriangkrai Techamong, a Thai gardener, who shipped the loot back home to Thailand.
Kriangkrai was arrested soon after, but had already sold many of the stolen gems, including a 50-carat blue diamond. Some of the jewels were eventually returned to their owner, but the Kingdom later said that most of the returned gems were fake.


 Saudi Arabia has provided more than $13bn in support to Yemen since 2014: Arab coalition

Updated 20 min 45 sec ago
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 Saudi Arabia has provided more than $13bn in support to Yemen since 2014: Arab coalition

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia has provided more than $13 billion in support to Yemen since 2014, said the Arab coalition on Monday.
Spokesperson Turki Al-Maliki said: "We are providing political and humanitarian relief efforts to support the Yemeni people in addition to combating terrorism in Yemen."
Speaking during a weekly press conference in Riyadh, Al-Maliki said specific military operations continue in Hadramout and other Yemeni areas and the coalition continues to support the ground operations of the Yemeni National Army towards Maran.
He also said the Iranian-backed Houthi militia have breached the Stockholm agreement more than 1,400 times.
Al-Maliki explained that the coup and the absence of legitimacy led to the rise of terrorist organizations in Yemen.
The coalition presents the proceeds of weapons, drugs and equipment that resulted from its qualitative operations