DUBAI (Reuters) – The family of a former top Saudi intelligence official who is living in exile and locked in an international feud with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman say they have become pawns in the kingdom’s efforts to bring the spy chief home.
A Saudi court jailed two of Saad al-Jabri’s adult children late last year for money laundering and conspiracy to escape the kingdom unlawfully, charges they deny.
Now, an attempt by the family to appeal the convictions has failed, according to Saudi authorities. The Jabri family alleges that Saudi authorities interfered in the legal process, including circumventing appeals proceedings, which Riyadh denies.
A Saudi official told Reuters in a written statement that the convictions of the Jabri children “were upheld on appeal.”
The appeal, which hasn’t been previously reported, comes as the administration of U.S. President Joe Biden has raised concerns with senior Saudi officials about the children’s detention and trial, according to the U.S. State Department.
The family’s assertions are the latest volley in an acrimonious dispute playing out in courtrooms in the United States, Canada and Saudi Arabia between the former intelligence official and the crown prince. Known by the initials MbS, the crown prince has tightened his grip on power in recent years. Jabri was a long-time aide to another royal, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, whom MbS ousted as heir to the throne in a 2017 palace coup. MbS is now de facto…