Torched

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The Guardian reports an interesting story about a legal dispute in a London court involving Global Torch Ltd, a company said to represent the interests of Prince Mishaal bin Abdulaziz and his son. Prince Mishaal is chairman of the Allegiance Council, a body established by King Abdullah in 2007 to determine future succession to the throne, although it has yet to be tested. Prince Mishaal and his son own the Saudi-based Al Shoula Group. Al Shoula is Arabic for torch. Both the Guardian and Financial Times have requested to be given documents detailing disputed transactions by the company, but lawyers representing the princes said relations between the UK and Saudi Arabia will suffer if the allegations were made public. Moreover, the lawyers said the allegations would also lead to an adverse effect on relations between the US and Saudi Arabia. In 2006 senior Saudis used the same tactic to halt an investigation by the UK’s Serious Fraud Office into BAE Systems over the infamous al-Yamamah arms deal.

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