UAE’s RAKIA to appeal case brought by Farhad Azima over alleged hack

The Ras Al-Khaimah Investment Authority has denied claims it hacked the emails of Farhad Azima. (Shutterstock)
Updated 03 June 2018
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UAE’s RAKIA to appeal case brought by Farhad Azima over alleged hack

  • Investment Authority to challenge US decision to hear hacking claims
  • RAKIA says allegations from Farhad Azima are "complete fiction."

LONDON: A UAE investment agency plans to appeal a US court decision to hear computer hacking claims brought against it by Iranian-American businessman Farhad Azima.
The Ras Al-Khaimah Investment Authority (RAKIA), the investment arm of the emirate in the north of the country, told Arab News it would appeal a lawsuit brought by Azima in the Washington federal court, which accused the UAE fund of hacking his computer and posting the files on the Internet.
“Mr. Azima falsely claimed, in an obvious distraction tactic (from UK proceedings against him), that RAKIA or its agents hacked his computers and put his information on the Internet,” RAKIA said in a statement to Arab News.
It is the latest development in a web of lawsuits that have arisen from the efforts by the investment agency to recoup billions of dollars it claims were misappropriated in several deals involving former RAKIA CEO Khater Massaad and his associates.
“The Government of Ras Al-Khaimah believes that the decision by a US district court to assume jurisdiction over the frivolous lawsuit brought by Farhad Azima against the Ras Al-Khaimah Investment Authority is erroneous, and (it) has appealed the decision,” RAKIA said.
The US case follows an action brought by RAKIA in London against Azima that alleges he secured secret payments during the planned sale of a Sheraton hotel in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi.
RAKIA had tried to get the claim thrown out of court in the US earlier this year, but its motion to dismiss was rejected by US District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on March 30.
Now it plans to appeal the decision.
“Mr. Azima’s claim in the US case that the Ras Al-Khaimah Investment Authority or its agents hacked his computers and put his information on the Internet is a complete fiction,” RAKIA said in its statement.
“To the extent that the US courts continue to exercise jurisdiction over Mr. Azima’s claims, the Ras Al-Khaimah Investment Authority looks forward to clearing its name there.”
The case brought by RAKIA in London against Azima relates to two deals — including the aborted sale of the Sheraton Metechi Palace Hotel in Tbilisi from the agency’s Georgian unit to a company owned by Houshang Hosseinpour, another Iranian businessman.
RAKIA alleges that Azima took what it describes as a “secret commission” on the planned sale.
The UAE investment agency also claims that Azima paid the then CEO of RAKIA Georgia, Khater Massaad, a fee of $500,000 to help steer the deal through.
But Azima in turn alleges that a lawyer acting on behalf of RAKIA had warned that the businessman risked becoming “collateral damage” if he did not assist the agency in its pursuit of Massaad.
Farhad Azima was not immediately available for comment.


Apple China says it will push software update in bid to resolve Qualcomm case

Updated 4 min 27 sec ago
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Apple China says it will push software update in bid to resolve Qualcomm case

SHANGHAI/SAN FRANCISCO: Apple Inc. , facing a court ban in China on some of its iPhone models over alleged infringement of Qualcomm Inc. patents, said on Friday it will push software updates to users in a bid to resolve potential issues.
Apple will carry out the software updates at the start of next week “to address any possible concern about our compliance with the order,” the firm said in a statement sent to Reuters.
Earlier this week, Qualcomm said a Chinese court had ordered a ban on sales of some older Apple iPhone models for violating two of its patents, though intellectual property lawyers said the ban would still likely take time to enforce.
“Based on the iPhone models we offer today in China, we believe we are in compliance,” Apple said.
“Early next week we will deliver a software update for iPhone users in China addressing the minor functionality of the two patents at issue in the case.”
The case, brought by Qualcomm, is part of a global patent dispute between the two US companies that includes dozens of lawsuits. It creates uncertainty over Apple’s business in one of its biggest markets at a time when concerns over waning demand for new iPhones are battering its shares.
Qualcomm has said that the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court in China found Apple infringed two patents held by the chipmaker and ordered an immediate ban on sales of older iPhone models, from the 6S through the X.
Apple has said that all of its phone models remained on sale in mainland China and that it had filed a request for reconsideration with the court. All the models appeared to be available to buy on Apple’s China website on Friday.
Qualcomm, the biggest supplier of chips for mobile phones, filed its case in China in late 2017, arguing that Apple infringed patents on features related to resizing photographs and managing apps on a touch screen.