Juf­fali’s ex-wife fin­gers St Lu­cia Prime Min­is­ter

The Star (St. Lucia) - - FRONT PAGE -

Lawyers rep­re­sent­ing the ex-wife of Saudi bil­lion­aire, Walid Juf­fali have named Prime Min­is­ter Kenny An­thony as a re­spon­dent in a case to be heard here in Saint Lu­cia.

HTS News 4Force broke the news last night dur­ing its evening news­cast.

An­thony con­firmed that he and his at­tor­ney gen­eral have been named as re­spon­dents in the case.

Lawyers for Juf­fali’s ex-wife are seek­ing a dec­la­ra­tion from the court that the ap­point­ment of the Saudi bil­lion­aire as Saint Lu­cia’s Per­ma­nent Rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Or­gan­i­sa­tion is in­valid and un­law­ful.

The Daily Tele­graph re­ported last Novem­ber that Juf­fali had be­come Saint Lu­cia’s “per­ma­nent rep­re­sen­ta­tive” to the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Or­gan­i­sa­tion in Lon­don, a post that brings le­gal im­mu­nity in Bri­tain.

Ms Estrada’s lawyers have ar­gued that Juf­fali’s con­di­tion casts doubt on whether he is gen­uinely serv­ing as a diplo­mat from Saint Lu­cia with the en­ti­tle­ment to le­gal im­mu­nity.

“Her pri­mary ar­gu­ment is that the hus­band’s em­ploy­ment, which gave rise to the claim for diplo­matic im­mu­nity, was a con­trivance on his part to de­feat her claim,” said Mr Jus­tice Hay­den.

“That would be a very in­ter­est­ing con­test be­cause you know I like a le­gal con­test,” Prime Min­is­ter An­thony re­port­edly told HTS News 4Force on Thurs­day.

In Fe­bru­ary this year, a Bri­tish Judge dis­missed Juf­fali’s claim of diplo­matic im­mu­nity, giv­ing his ex-wife the op­por­tu­nity to pur­sue le­gal ac­tion to claim some of the Saudi na­tional’s for­tune in the UK. Juf­fali has filed an ap­peal.

Prime Min­is­ter Kenny An­thony, a for­mer Univer­sity of the West Indies Law Lec­turer, has con­sis­tently de­fended his ad­min­is­tra­tion’s re­fusal to ac­cede to re­quests to waive the Saudi na­tional’s diplo­matic im­mu­nity.

Of the case that has been filed here nam­ing him and the at­tor­ney gen­eral as re­spon­dents, An­thony said: “We will deal with that very soon.”

Christina Estrada is seek­ing a share of her ex­hus­band’s prop­er­ties in Bri­tain. In par­tic­u­lar, she has laid claim to a seven-bed­room con­verted church in Knightsbridge, near Har­rods, known as St Saviour’s House. This lav­ish home with a swim­ming pool and cinema was val­ued at £50 mil­lion in 2013.

Ms Estrada is also tar­get­ing Bish­ops­gate House, an es­tate found along­side Wind­sor Great Park in the vicin­ity of Wind­sor Cas­tle, one of the prop­er­ties used by The Queen of Eng­land.

Fi­nally, she wants a share of Matthews Point Manor, a coun­try house in Dart­mouth on the Devon coast, val­ued at £2.5 mil­lion in 2007.

Ear­lier this month a High Court judge threw out Juf­fali’s ar­gu­ment that he was not sub­ject to Bri­tish law be­cause of his diplo­matic im­mu­nity as Saint Lu­cia’s rep­re­sen­ta­tive to the In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime Or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Mr Jus­tice Hay­den de­scribed the ap­point­ment as

‘spu­ri­ous’ and ‘en­tirely ar­ti­fi­cial’ af­ter it emerged Juf­fali had not per­formed any du­ties since ac­quir­ing the post in April 2014 and is now said to be se­ri­ously ill.

Juf­fali’s ap­peal against this rul­ing is due to be heard next month. If un­suc­cess­ful, the fi­nal hear­ing on Ms Estrada’s claim could take place in June.

Ms Estrada, who was born in Amer­ica but has lived in the UK since 1994, was ro­man­ti­cally linked to Prince An­drew in the 1990s and fea­tured in the 1993 Pirelli cal­en­dar.

Juf­fali, the Chair­man of one of the largest com­pa­nies in Saudi Ara­bia, EA Juf­fali and Brothers, fa­mously paid £270,000 for a nude pho­to­graph of Kate Moss at an auc­tion.

He di­vorced his first wife Basma al-Su­laiman in 2000 af­ter 24 years of mar­riage and agreed to pay a £40 mil­lion set­tle­ment.

In 2012 he polyg­a­mously mar­ried Le­banese TV pre­sen­ter Lou­jain Adada, then aged 25, as un­der Saudi Ara­bian law, men are legally per­mit­ted to have four wives as long as they are treated equally.

Prime Min­is­ter Kenny An­thony: Will it be his Wash­ing­ton lawyers de­fend­ing him against Estrada or will a cer­tain Do­mini­can be the main ben­e­fi­ciary this time?

Christina Estrada: Will she re­veal se­crets of

Juf­fali af­fair?

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