Saudi law complicating PGA Tour’s counterclaim against LIV, PIF, Yasir Al-Rumayyan
After weeks of legal debate over foreign sovereignty and the nuances of US law, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has joined the fray with a friend of the court memo and a violation of Saudi law that promises to make it harder for the PGA Tour to counterclaim against the country. State Investment Fund (PIF).
The PIF and its chief executive, Yasser Al-Rumayyan, claim they are nothing more than investors in LIV Golf, which filed an antitrust lawsuit against Tour last year. Tour’s lawyers argue that the Foundation and Al-Rumayyan are actively involved in the day-to-day activities of the LIV and should therefore be subject to US jurisdiction. The judge agreed with Tour’s assessment and granted a motion to add PIF, which owns 93 percent of LIV Golf, and Al Rumayan as counterclaim defendants, making them both subject to disclosure.
Lawyers representing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia said in a statement filed on Tuesday that the PIF and Al Rumayan do not fall under US jurisdiction and that forcing the removal of a government official such as Al Rumayan violates Saudi Arabian law.
According to the summary, Al-Rumayan is one of six FPI board members who are also members of the Council of Ministers and answer only to the king. The Kingdom’s lawyers also pointed out that disclosing information about council meetings is a violation of Saudi law and is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $266,000 fine.
On Wednesday, a subpoena was filed with the court to bring PIF and Al-Rumayan as defendants. Once the service is completed by adding the fund to the counterclaim, the PIF is likely to file a motion to dismiss on various grounds.