Judge stays ruling to submit Saudi Arabia PIF and its governor to discovery

The decision, which could expose the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund and its trustee to an investigation in the US District Court, has been deferred pending further scrutiny.

The original decision, handed down by the magistrate, ordered PIF and its managing director, Yasser Al Rumayan, to present evidence in an antitrust case against the PGA Tour by a group of players who had joined LIV Golf.

The Tour’s lawyers argued that PIF and Al Rumayyan were the “de facto” leaders of LIV Golf and should therefore be forced to submit to the circuit’s counterclaim; while the fund’s attorneys claim they are merely investors in the startup league and are not subject to the jurisdiction of US courts.

The Justice of the Peace agreed with Tur and ordered PIF and Al Rumayan to participate in the discovery, including testimony from Al Rumayan and other officials at the foundation. However, on Wednesday, Judge Beth Labson Freeman ruled that the order should be upheld.

“The Court considers the motion eligible for a decision without oral argument,” Labson Freeman wrote.

The original order created “difficult questions” relating to claims to foreign sovereignty and immunity, “which will require careful and serious consideration by this Court for resolution.”

The tour moved to include PIF and Al Rumayan to be added to the counterclaim as defendants, but a judge ruled on Wednesday that the fund would be treated as a “non-participant” in the litigation “pending service of procedural documents.” PIF.

The judge also ruled that other discoveries in the antitrust case should go ahead; however, Tur said in petitions filed last week that neither PIF nor Al Rumayan had submitted any requests for information.


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