British Foreign Secretary ordered to certify if Saudi billionaire Walid Juffali is Caribbean diplomat

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British Foreign Secretary ordered to certify if Saudi billionaire Walid Juffali is Caribbean diplomat
Philip Hammond (left) and Walid Juffali Photo: Rex
Philip Hammond (left) and Walid Juffali Photo: Rex
Philip Hammond (left) and Walid Juffali Photo: Rex

THE TELEGRAPH – The High Court has ordered the Foreign Secretary to certify whether a Saudi billionaire facing legal action from his ex-wife has been accepted by Britain as a Caribbean diplomat representing St Lucia.

Walid Juffali, the chairman of one of Saudi Arabia’s biggest conglomerates, is the subject of a property claim from his divorced wife, Christina Estrada, a former Pirelli calendar model.

The Daily Telegraph disclosed last November that Mr Juffali had become St Lucia’s “permanent representative” to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in London, a post that carries diplomatic immunity in Britain.

The High Court is considering whether Mr Juffali genuinely has legal immunity that would defeat Ms Estrada’s claim to a share of his fortune, which includes an estate in Windsor and a seven-bedroom home in a converted church in Knightsbridge.

Mr Justice Hayden issued an order on Wednesday for Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary, to certify whether Britain had formally accepted Mr Juffali as a diplomat.

There is no record of Mr Juffali, 60, attending any meetings of the IMO since his appointment in April 2014, nor does he possess any known qualifications in shipping or maritime law.

Tim Owen QC, representing Ms Estrada, called Mr Juffali’s appointment “eccentric”, adding: “You have a very rich Saudi with no connection to St Lucia and no knowledge of maritime affairs ending up, surprise surprise, as St Lucia’s representative to the IMO at a time when he’s facing divorce proceedings from his second wife.”

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(120)(5)

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45 COMMENTS

  1. This case should not be one of money or how much the ex-wife
    is getting or his divorces, this case, to us the citizens of St. Lucia
    is why was this Soudi man appointed as Ambassador representing
    St. Lucia, in secret? for almost two years we the people never heard
    of such a position; so what we are demanding right now, is that this
    man be given the sack; we have much more than enough St.Lucians
    well qualified to be given this job, end of case. we don't care about
    his private life. We suspect there's a case for Quid-pro-quo, but that's politics.

    (7)(0)

  2. This issue has been such an embarrassment for Saint Lucia, and for many reasons. Not withstanding the Prime Minister has reiterated Saint Lucia's position, in lieu of the British government's request for clarification on the diplomatic standing of the Saudi gentleman, as allowing Mr. Juffali to continue to invoke diplomatic immunity, the explanation to the people of Saint Lucia has been, at best, dismal.

    Not only that the British government has questioned the legitimacy of Mr. Juffali's representation of Saint Lucia (a country which many will argue he has no direct relationship with), but we are learning now that the British legal system is ordering the government (Foreign Secretary) to demonstrate, to a court of law, that the appointment of a diplomat by a sovereign state (Saint Lucia) was certified by the government. In order words, the court is asking the government (British) to validate Britain's recognition of Mr. Juffali as a diplomatic representative of Saint Lucia. To some this may not amount to much, especially when the argument can be made that the Saint Lucia is a sovereign nation and do not need the validation of others in the internal decisions that it makes, but the premium of its international reputation will be very high.

    It appears to me that the benefits of Mr. Juffali's representation of Fair Helen at the IMO far exceeds the price Saint Lucia has to pay in maintaining this perceived protectionist posture!

    Lastly, and particularly to those of you who believe that the best way to discuss this diplomatic conundrum is to assassinate the character of the ex-wife for going after what, by law, is her right, non of you were married to the man. Whether she is already receiving $700,000 per month or $7 million, it is not your place to decide. After all, this is why this case is motioning through a court of LAW!

    Is this case worth the Scrutiny that Saint Lucia has been under??

    (7)(0)

  3. you getting 70,000 a month and you fighting for half of 2.5 million! choopssss........ Woman let the man die in peace please, you too greedy.

    (1)(11)

  4. I wish we would see this issue for what it is and stop fighting each other in the name of party. If you have access to St. Lucia News Online to air your opinion then take the opportunity to google news items in the UK regarding this matter then come back there so we can have some intelligent conversation on the matter. Ignorance is not always bliss! Just a few keystrokes and a few minutes of reading . AND BE OBJECTIVE !

    (2)(46)

    • trying to decide what the thumb down is for - stopping fighting? - read from different sources? be objective?

      (1)(39)

      • U need to read. And if u and other members of your party had any analytical and critical thinking skills, u would put your tails between your legs and realise that the electorate cannot be fooled. your government has created the biggest scandal the international community has seen in a long time. we realise we in sh*t street. and your coming here trying to pretend otherwise does not change that. when last you hear any foreign minister in that country or any other say anything about little lucia. now we hear he has been asked to investigate. u mean u so daft? or you blinded red?

        (9)(0)

  5. I just can't understand it.
    People frothing at their mouths blaming Chastenet,
    Others calling British MPs corrupt.
    Others calling the Times,The Sun,The Daily Mail,The Independent and the Daily Telegraph irrelevant, unread biased,anti St.Lucian British newspapers.
    Then plenty women calling the woman a gold digger who has sullied St.Lucia's name.
    BUT!
    THE REALITY IS THAT IT WAS JUFFALI THAT INVOKED DIPLOMATIC IMMUNITY.
    He could have left his newly acquired St.Lucian passport in his pocket.
    HE CHOSE TO EXPOSE ST.LUCIA TO THIS MESS not Chastenet,not the press or his ex-wife.
    HE THREW US IN THE HOT WATER AND HE HE MUST HAVE DONE THIS WITH THE BLESSING OF THE GOVT
    Think straight people!
    JUFFALI,WHO LOVES ST.LUCIA SO MUCH,USED HIS ST.LUCIAN PASSPORT TO AVOID GOING TO COURT!!!!!
    Now those grown,respectable women on Facebook S.L.A.P.s and elsewhere who are are hurling insults at this woman.....Just think......If it was you,YOUR DAUGHTER or your sister that had been married to a man for 13 years and had a child with him and woke up to find that he gone off and married a young jal whilst still married to you......HOW WOULD YOU FEEL!!!!!
    IF AFTER 13 YEARS OF MARRIAGE HE THEN WENT TO SAUDI ARABIA AND ENDED THE MARRIAGE BY SAYING "I DIVORCE YOU" THREE TIMES AND IT HAPPENED.........HOW WOULD YOU FEEL!!!!!!!!!
    SHAME ON YOU WOMEN.....AWA!!!!!!
    This woman is not a Saudi, she doesn't deserve to be divorced in this way in such a woman HATING country like Saudi Arabia where WOMEN are not even allowed to drive and have basically no rights!!!!
    St.Lucia needs to withdraw immunity and butt out OF THIS AFFAIR!!!!

    (133)(1)

  6. What Is happening to Fair Helen............

    There are consequences for for actions dear people. The Juffali situation has put us on the world stage in a very negative way....it says that we will allegedly compromise our morals for money, now does that put a good twist on Citizen by investment program No it does not as we have shown that our screening process does not have a 20/20 vision and therefore serious business people would prefer to stay away from this especially when this small island becomes an object of alleged corruption by the big brothers of the world.

    Secondly, the Impacs situation, this is further hindering our chances of attracting the right kind of investors to our country as the British and US will surely inform their people of our inadequate justice system should the government not attend to this speedily.

    Why would a decent, honest business person want to operate in an environment or even own assets in a country where he or she cannot get fair trial, where he or she cannot rely on the justice system should something happen.

    These issues are in the press daily and get international attention, have we not looked at the bigger picture, what is going to happen to fair Helen in another few years, her tourism, her foreign direct investment and even her citizens who have choices to relocate (who may well be some who put bread on the table for some of us) this is scary. I ask all citizens to wake up forget party politics and address the issues at hand put pressure on the persons that prevail, demand answers..................I continue to pray for my fair Helen!

    (35)(0)

  7. The ignorance and lack of intelligence of St. Lucians are beaming on this matter.

    One only has to read the many intelligent comments on this matter by the British readers and those on this website by SAINT LUCIANS. And you can see the vast difference.

    Stay as Ignorant as you ALL ARE.

    This is why I refuse to speak or assimilate myself with any of you OUTSIDE OF SAINT LUCIAN BORDERS.

    Too damn IGNORANT!

    (21)(131)

  8. Juffali lorvessssssssss St. Lucia. That's what Kenny shouted from the market steps. Well if he lorvvvvvvvessss us so much, set us free from the international embarrassment!!!!!! Why are the parties involved so hell bent on destroying our relationship with the UK for this man? We NEEED answers on what allegedly changed hands and who benefitted. So far all St Lucia is getting from this is it's name dragged in the mud, but the high players remain quiet and hope that this will go away. When this earthquake finally shakes us it will be 2.8 million on the richter scale!!!!!! Richter / richer either way the number will be massive!

    (77)(0)

  9. It is time for the St.Lucian public to start demanding the resignation of this Juffali guy.People have to put politics aside and question the appointment of this guy. People of St.Lucia do what is best for you and your children's future. It clearly shows the man's disdain of the rights of women when it comes to divorce.

    (64)(1)

  10. Its time for Dr.Jufalli start pumping millions in investment here or relief him of his duties.What is going on?

    (6)(24)

  11. was due diligence done on Juffali, is that the same due dilligence to plan to apply to the citizen by investment program?

    (65)(0)

    • On the CCJ? Due diligence there too?

      On CSME? Due diligence that made CLCO pauperize people from Bahamas to Trinidad?

      (41)(0)

  12. Well well.......Question who initiated and sanctioned this diplomatic appoinment of Mr. Juffali ?
    Should these persons be trusted?
    How much did allegedly Juffali pay?
    Where did Juffali's money allegedly go to?
    Cause the way I see it these persons should not be trusted as the allegedly openly allowed a saudi billionaire to buy his way out of divorce proceedings thus obstructing the British courts on the ruling of partitioning the assets in common.
    Now these folk who sanctioned this appointment were allegedly aiding and abetting they too should be charged. Do you expect any form of transparency.

    (36)(1)

  13. They would have never appointed a poor born st. Lucian, even if he had move mountains for st. Lucia. Yet a rich man came out of nowhere, with plans of divorcing his wife and not knowing much about st. Lucia or living in st. Lucia; allegedly opened his check book, not only did he became a st. Lucian citizen, he became a diplomat. Without this mess coming out we would never know. Make you wonder how many others are there around the world.

    It should make known to the people of St. Lucia every citizens by investment and how much.

    (38)(0)

  14. I have a strong feeling after this case, the British will ensure that in an effort to ensure everyone as a fair trial and to avoid persons potentially making a mockery of the British law, by circumventing certain things, there might be possible steps taken.

    My question from the onset, when this soap opera/ reality show was first mentioned was always this:
    Was St.Lucia used to avoid to avoid payout?????
    As a patriotic St.Lucian, I would feel disrespected if that were the case and no amount of billions would sway my feelings.

    Then you have CIP. Lord have mercy.

    (17)(0)

  15. yet SLP tries to convince us that there is no SCANDAL. The Brits ARE NOT STUPID. Basically they are trying to ascertain how much was allegedly paid by Juffali for protection

    (28)(0)

  16. HA - HA ....The SLP supporters heard BETTER DAYS....But kenny was actually saying BEGGAR DAYS...

    (24)(0)

  17. please kenny or Anthony we are begging you get the England press off our back .Dismiss mr. jufalli now.

    (54)(3)

  18. This is how the British sees things:

    “You have a very rich Saudi with no connection to St Lucia and no knowledge of maritime affairs ending up, surprise surprise, as St Lucia’s representative to the IMO at a time when he’s facing divorce proceedings from his second wife.”

    Now, first question is how much heat can we take to defend Juffali?
    Can the citizens of St. Lucia put their neck on the block for Juffali?
    What will St. Lucia gain from defending Juffali?
    What do we stand to loose?
    Are you fully confident in the answers that the government is providing?
    Do you Trust this government for telling the truth?
    Have they been forthcoming with the truth in the past?

    These are the relevant questions that a right thinking citizen would ask. Now can you trust yourself to answer these questions truthfully without the blinding influence of party colors?

    (125)(0)

    • BIGGER question: Can you ever trust any government such as this one any any cabinet member, that has such an unbroken record of alleged mendacity?

      (10)(0)

  19. Well well well. St Lucia continues to get bad press on the international stage - surely the Govt realise that to the outside world this might smack of corruption? And at a time when SLU is looking for investment?
    Since no IMO meetings have been attended shouldn't the Govt be asking questions of Mr Jufalli?

    (55)(2)

  20. St. Lucia, courtesy of Kenny and Co., is a hot ticket performing on the 'main stage' for all the wrong reasons

    (48)(0)

  21. This situation is definitely out of hand. Instead of resolving the issue our government have opted to building their own coffins by giving the people of st lucia very limited knowledge of this individual or the reason for his appointment.

    If this is what politics is all about that i strongly believe we should introduce a new method of governance. One which doesnt permit those atrocities

    (42)(0)

    • We need a coalition government. Neither side has a FULL SLATE of candidates that any thinking person can trust.

      This election is about trust. This election is about trust. The SLP puts out projects, and loads upon loads of promises.

      The projects become white elephants, the unemployment rate still increases, the unemployed youth murder and maim others, and prey on the tourists.

      Trust is the issue. The SLP CANNOT ever again be trusted with the reins of government. These self-centred rapacious SLPs continuously BETRAYS our trust. All the members are complicit in this sordid affair. They, members of cabinet or not are TOTALLY UNTRUSTWORTHY.

      Saint Lucians need to RESET THE GOVERNANCE BUTTON with a fresh start. We most definitely need a coalition of PROVEN SKILLED persons. Not STOOGES and TRAITORS!