US judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit against brother of Qatari Emir

US judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit against brother of Qatari Emir
Plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege Sheikh Khaled murdered an Indian employee who worked as his wife’s driver, ordered the killings of several racing industry rivals and engaged in widespread illegal activities in and outside of the United States. (Facebook)
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Updated 17 October 2020

US judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit against brother of Qatari Emir

US judge refuses to dismiss lawsuit against brother of Qatari Emir
  • The decision allows the lawsuit, which was filed by six American contractors, to proceed
  • In addition to Sheikh Khaled and Al Anabi Racing USA, LLC, the lawsuit names four other defendants

CHICAGO: A US federal Judge this week rejected motions to dismiss a lawsuit that accuses the brother of the Qatari Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani of a range of illegal acts.

The decision allows the lawsuit, which was filed by six American contractors who worked for Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and his American racing network, to proceed.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit allege Sheikh Khaled murdered an Indian employee who worked as his wife’s driver, ordered the killings of several racing industry rivals and engaged in widespread illegal activities in and outside of the United States.

Sheikh Khaled originally tried to dodge the lawsuit when it was originally filed in Florida in 2019. But when the lawsuit was re-filed in Massachusetts in June 2020, naming his racing company Al Anabi Racing USA LLC, he was forced to respond with eight lawyers filing motions for dismissal.

In addition to Sheikh Khaled and Al Anabi Racing USA, LLC, the lawsuit names four other defendants: Donald Greenbaum, Al Anabi Racing Limited, Speedtech LLC, and Al Anabi Performance, LLC. Greenbaum represents Al Anabi Racing USA LLC, and the other companies which the lawsuit claims Sheikh Khaled owns.

Federal court judge Richard G. Stearns ruled that the allegations and responses, more than 80 separate legal motions, were so complicated that it was impossible to decipher, directing both sides to consolidate their cases and asking the attorney for the plaintiffs, Rebecca Castaneda, to refile in two weeks.

Judge Stearns wrote: “The court denies defendants motions to dismiss without prejudice and allows defendants motions for a more definite statement. Plaintiffs shall, by October 30, 2020, file an amended complaint that eliminates extraneous allegations, pleads facts in a simplified manner, and identifies which allegations are relevant to each count in language comprehensible to a person of reasonable intelligence or the case will be dismissed.”

In the lawsuit, the six former contractors outline 29 separate charges offering an inside look into the frightening and violent underworld of the playboy race car driver’s life of drugs, sexual perversions, and violence.

In the lawsuit, Castaneda asserts Sheikh Khaled “created an environment of hostility, falsely imprisoned employees, caused personal injury, assaulted and battered employees, inflicted emotional distress, engaged in retaliation, and intentionally interfered in business relationships.”

The original lawsuit included two former employees, Matthew Pittard and Matthew Allende. But Sheikh Khaled, a big shot in the American race car industry, avoided it being served, a requirement in American law. His attorneys have also not responded to repeated email inquiries for a response. The refiled lawsuit was expanded to include other contractors for Sheikh Khaled, including Terry Hope, Robert Von Smith, Jason Mollenbrink, and Ramez Tohme, all of them American citizens.

In addition to naming Sheikh Khaled and 16 of his aliases, the lawsuit names 29 subsidiaries or “alter egos” of Al Anabi Racing USA LLC and its president and CEO, Donald Greenbaum, as defendants.

The lawsuit says Sheikh Khaled ordered Hope and Pittard to execute “eight separate murder-for-hire plots” as a condition of their employment. Hope was told to kill the head of an American racing circuit and his wife “to prove his loyalty.” The sheikh also ordered the killing of a Bahraini royal family member who raced in the same competitions.

Castaneda asserted that Sheikh Khaled ordered Allende and Pittard to murder a Moroccan woman who was a friend of the sheikh’s wife. Castaneda said he feared the woman was feeding embarrassing information to a Saudi national at a time when his brother, Emir Al-Thani, and Qatar were in an international row with Saudi Arabia and three other Arab countries.

In February 2011 and 2012, the lawsuit alleges, Sheikh Khaled tried to rig the outcome of the Arabian Drag Racing League’s “Battle of the Belts Championship,” hoping to boost his company’s international rankings.


Trump grants Bahrain’s King Hamad top honor on last day in office

Outgoing US President Donald Trump awarded the King of Bahrain the Legion of Merit with the Degree of Chief Commander. (File/AP)
Outgoing US President Donald Trump awarded the King of Bahrain the Legion of Merit with the Degree of Chief Commander. (File/AP)
Updated 19 January 2021

Trump grants Bahrain’s King Hamad top honor on last day in office

Outgoing US President Donald Trump awarded the King of Bahrain the Legion of Merit with the Degree of Chief Commander. (File/AP)
  • King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa was given the US award after Bahrain normalised relations with Israel
  • The king was also recognized for his ‘prominent role in pushing bilateral cooperation’

LONDON: Bahrain’s King Hamad was awarded a rare medal by US President Donald Trump in recognition of his “remarkable efforts” to consolidate relations and the close partnership between the two countries, Bahrain News Agency (BNA) reported on Tuesday.
Trump decorated the monarch with the Legion of Merit, Degree Chief Commander, “a rarely-awarded, prestigious decoration that can only be bestowed by the president, typically to chiefs of state or heads of government of other countries,” the White House said.
The king was also recognized for his “prominent role in pushing bilateral cooperation to broader and more comprehensive horizons, which promoted the common interests of the two countries and its peoples,” BNA said.
The outgoing American leader said that he was “pleased to present this medal to the king, who over decades contributed to establishing Bahrain’s position as a steadfast strategic ally and partner working alongside the United States.”
Trump added that Manama’s support for the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet, which is stationed in Bahrain, had a supportive role in enabling it to perform its multiple tasks and he praised the king’s courage and wise leadership vision for his support for peace and his decision to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel.
He described this decision as the start of a new era of economic and security cooperation among the most important US partners in the Middle East and made peace in the region a possible process that would reshape the region’s landscape in a positive way for future generations.
The American president said that the partnership between the two countries would become deeper in the Middle East.
“The king’s decorating of this prestigious medal is an indication of the high position that he enjoys in the US, and the great appreciation for the prominent roles and major contributions he has made in enhancing security, stability, and prosperity with the vision of spreading peace in the region,” the statement added.
In its final days in office, the Trump administration announced the designation of both Bahrain and the UAE as “major security partners” of the US, a status unique to both countries that demonstrated a “new level of partnership” and “represents an enduring commitment to economic and security cooperation.
“It also reflects their extraordinary courage, determination, and leadership in entering into the Abraham Accords,” the White House said on Friday.
Bahrain, the UAE, Morocco, and Sudan joined Egypt and Jordan to establish full diplomatic relations with Israel last year, in deals brokered by the US.
Also, on Friday, Trump decorated Morocco’s King Mohammed VI with the same accolade bestowed on King Hamad for “vision and personal courage,” especially his decision to resume ties with Israel, that “have positively reshaped the landscape of the Middle East and North Africa and ushered in a new era of security and prosperity for both our countries and the world.”
The Legion of Merit is a military award that was created to honor Allied leaders in World War II and had gone into obscurity until it was revived by Trump, who last month also presented it to the prime ministers of Australia, India, and Japan.

(With AFP)