US Removes Saudi from Sanctions List after 13 Years



JEDDAH – A leading Saudi businessman and philanthropist has been removed by the US Treasury Department from its Specially Designated Nationals (SDN) list.

This development marks the conclusion of Sheikh Yassin Kadi’s challenge to the restrictive measures after a 13-year battle, which started with the imposition of sanctions in October 2001. Kadi had already been de-listed in 2012 by the United Nations Security Council and the European Union. He was the successful applicant in the well-known Kadi litigation of 2008 and 2013 in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg. Kadi had always denied that he has ever supported any terrorist group. He was informed in a press release that his assets had been frozen. Two days later, his assets were frozen in Europe, again without giving him any reasons.

Kadi claimed he was entitled to none of the usual legal protections, such as right of access to an independent court or tribunal or the right to know the evidence against him, which protect defendants who are the subject of criminal proceedings.

An English judge hearing Kadi’s challenge described the system of sanctions as “draconian.” Echoing these words the General Court in Luxembourg stated: “It is no exaggeration to say that persons designated in this way are effectively ‘prisoners’ of the State; their freedom of movement is severely restricted without access to their funds and the effect of the freeze on both them and their families can be devastating”. — ARAB NEWS

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