Saudi Takedown Notice
I have received a letter from a law firm requesting that I takedown an affidavit filed in New York State Supreme Court that listed $1 billion worth of properties secretly owned by HRH Prince Abdul-Aziz bin Fahd, the youngest and favorite son of King Fahd, and his relative, Sheik Khalid N Al Assaf.
I downloaded the document while it was publicly available on the court’s website and posted it here after I read an article about it in Britain’s Independent newspaper. The affidavit has since been sealed and removed from the court’s website.
Attorney Howard Kaplan of Arkin Kaplan Rice LLP says the affidavit “contains or purports to contain obviously proprietary and sensitive business information. It is extremely detrimental to our clients’ interests to have this confidential information still available on and downloadable from your blog side. Moreover, the Hill affidavit itself is not only one-sided but, in many instances, demonstrably false.”
I am considering Kaplan’s request and would like to hear from any readers as to whether they believe there is any value in having this information remain publicly available.
Full disclosure: Kaplan’s partner, Stanley Arkin, and I met socially, but we have not communicated in years.
Dear Mr Hettena
I am distressed to read of the pressure being put on you by the US lawyers of Prince Abdul Aziz bin Fahd and his maternal uncle Sheikh Majid Al Ibrahim. I very much hope that you do not succumb to this pressure as I can see no justifiable reason for requiring you to remove the information from your website. This is valuable information obtained through fair and legal means, but some people clearly do not believe in freedom of speech. They appear not even to disclose the identity of their client(s), so that you can establish whether or not their letter is genuine. I have taken the liberty of reproducing your information on the blog mentioned above in the hope that it makes your decision easier.