The Emirate of Dubai’s Court of First Instance issued a verdict on November 25th in Case 127/2017 that confirmed Omar Ayesh, Tameer’s founder, is a legitimate shareholder of 25% in the company and all its assets and holdings – a shareholding right denied by Ahmed al Rajhi and his co-conspirators. The award amount was UAE Dirhams 1.6 billion in addition to 9% compensation applicable since 2017, the date of the most recent case filing. Additionally, 10 million AED dirhams have been awarded for moral compensation. The total amount to date is UAE Dirhams 2.2 billion ($600 million).
The Dubai Courts have confirmed, after over twelve years of arbitration and litigation, what should simply have been a matter of affirming commercial rights. During that time, procedural flaws and loopholes allowed the sitting Saudi Minister of Labor to abuse the Emirati system using his financial and political influence, reflecting poorly on Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s claimed anti-corruption efforts. The AlRajhis manipulated legal structures, witnesses, legal documents, and commercial accounts – creating shell companies, devaluing the company Ayesh established, and illegally expropriating assets – with no accountability for these crimes including, documented evidence of the minister’s lawyers threatening a magistrate judge upon the issuance of his preliminary report, forcing his resignation in fear.
The judgement in this civil case has found Ahmed al Rajhi guilty of denying shareholding rights. The Foundation hopes the courts of appeal and cassation will ensure an equally expeditious and transparent process with any appeals. Nevertheless, the verdict paves the way for criminal proceedings to begin against Ahmed al Rajhi and his co-conspirators, including his brother Abdallah, chairman of the largest “Islamic” bank in the world. Senior AlRajhi employees who participated in the financial crimes have fled the UAE to avoid prosecution, including Federico Tauber, Tameer and Gemstone president/CEO and Asma Khan, Chief Legal Officer.
The Global Justice Foundation shall continue shining a light on all corrupt individuals regardless of their position or seniority. The verdict in this case adds to the Foundation’s repository of evidence which shall be submitted to relevant anti-corruption authorities, including Saudi Arabia’s President of the Control and Anti-Corruption Commission, Mazen bin Ibrahim bin Mohammed Al-Kahmous.
The Global Justice Foundation applauds the Dubai Courts’ judge and expert committee for their professionalism and transparency in this case. The pre-judgement proceedings implemented measures unprecedented in Emirati legal history. These include the audiovisual recording & sharing of sessions with all parties, allowing overseas participants via video link, rejecting gag requests, and proactively purchasing copy equipment to record accounting records – records that Tameer executives had doctored as well as refused to release for over a decade, violating federal laws. The strict adherence to the letter of the law in this civil case as well as the exceptional steps taken to ensure fairness strengthens trust in the UAE’s judicial system. This is in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, and ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, to ensure no one is above the law.
Since the media coverage of the verdict came to light, the Foundation has received multiple requests for assistance from victims of Tameer’s systemic corruption. The Foundation is reviewing all legal options available to assist these and other victims of criminal, commercial corruption in the region.