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Maan Al-Sanea Loses Challenge to Caymans Lawsuit

Maan al-Sanea, a Saudi Arabian billionaire, has lost a jurisdictional challenge to a lawsuit filed against him in the Cayman Islands by Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Co., alleging he misappropriated money.

The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal today rejected al-Sanea’s bid to overturn a lower court’s July decision that the Caribbean nation had jurisdiction over the dispute, according to a 55-page ruling furnished to Bloomberg News by James Courtovich, a Washington-based spokesman for the Algosaibi firm.

The court of appeal also reversed a ruling by Cayman Islands Grand Court Chief Judge Anthony Smellie halting the proceedings in deference to potential rulings on the dispute by a Saudi Arabian commission.

The Algosaibis have alleged that al-Sanea misappropriated $9.2 billion from the group’s units, in part to fund his Saad Group of companies. Al-Sanea has denied those allegations.

“Mr. al-Sanea asserts that the AHAB partners are and have always been fully aware of the true extent of the massive borrowings,” the appeals court said in its decision.

Reached after hours, a London-based spokesman for al-Sanea, Mark Bolland, said he was unfamiliar with the ruling and couldn’t comment on it.

“With this decision, the stay is lifted and the fraud claim in the Cayman Islands can now proceed to judgment,” Courtovich said in a statement e-mailed to Bloomberg News.

The case was filed last year in the island nation, where some of al-Sanea’s businesses are incorporated.

The case is Ahmad Hamad Algosaibi & Brothers Co. v Saad Investments Co., CICA 15, 20 and 21 of 2010, Court of Appeal of the Cayman Islands.

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