Jordanian Threatens to Sue US Billionaire Embroiled in Iraq Contracting Scandal

2011-09-06

By Shaherah Khatatbeh and Banan Malkawi

AMMONNEWS -Jordanian Badr al-Masaafa has threatened to sue Mustafa Abu Naba and Harry Sargeant – the American billionaire who owns the company that suppose the Iraqi Army with oil, for his failure to be compensated for his services to the two partners.

An American tribunal condemned Sergeant and Abu Nabaa on a charge of defrauding their third partner Jordanian businessman Muhammad al-Salah, and ordered for him to be paid 28 million USD at the end of last July.

The same tribunal called on 13 people in Jordan, including al-Masaafa, to testify in the case last April in one of the Amman hotels after The Association of Jurors and Interpreters and Scribes attended the tribunal along with the complainants and defendants and their lawyers.

al-Masaafa’s testimony was made after Abu Nabaa sent him a text message saying ‘Hello Badr, if necessary are you ready to talk about what our friend said to you when he called threatened me”,

Another text sent by Abu Nabaa before the testimony said ‘you don’t have any objections to telling me what you heard word for word?’. Al-Salah had sent a threatening verbal message to Abu Nabaa via al-Masaafa after the the two partners argued.

During the trial al-Salah’s lawyer asked al-Masaafa whether Sergaent or Mustafa Abu Nabaa had paid him money to testify. al-Masaafa denied it and said before the Jurors that he had rights to claim from the partners and that he would sue them to obtain compensation that he estimated to be around 150 thousand Jordanian Dinars.

Abu Nabaa and Sergaent lost the case and the American tribunal ruled for millions of dollars to be paid to al-Salah for being cut out of the partnership and as a share of the money and benefits earned by the partners since 2004.

al-Masaafa’s story began early 2006 after he had asked to retire from the Jordanian army in mid 2005 and began working with Mustafa Abu Nabaa – a Jordanian with Danish nationality – after a short period working as a bodyguard without a contract with Harry Sergaent, the American billionaire.

al-Masaafa recounted to ‘Ammon News’ ‘I was working as a driver for a member of the royal family and I met Mustafa Abu Nabaa who was visiting al-Salah, the husband of Princess Alia, and I decided to work with him, so I asked for retirement from the army and began working for him.

al-Masaafa said that during the 2006 war when Israeli warplanes attacked Beirut and other Lebanese towns he was assigned with getting Harry Sergeant’s son out of Beirut. He went by land after the Israeli warplanes bombed Beirut airport, using a taxi, and drove for 20 hours to reach the Royal hotel in Beirut where he met ‘Harry Junior’. After two days of tele-communications and transport breakdown he paid a Syrian taxi driver 3000 Jordanian dinars to return to Amman.

When al-Masaafa and Harry Junior reached Amman they went to one of the Amman hotels meet Sergaent and Majdi al-Bastami, Director General for the State Center for Trading Petrol which had a monopoly for providing oil to the US forces in Iraq via Jordan.

When al-Masaafa handed over Sergaent’s son and asked for the dangerous nature of the task he had undertaken to be taken into account when he was paid, Sergaent agreed to pay him later.

Not long afterwards, after al-Masaafa had signed a contract with the company, Abu Nabaa asked him to bring ‘friends’ from Beirut. He returned a second time to Beirut in 2008 when the country was witnessing murders and bombings.

al-Masaafa affirms that he completed his task. He acted as a bodyguard to the partners and their families and undertook various other tasks such as protocol issues, and was responsible for the safety of Harry Junior while he was traveling through Lebanon and Jordan and Egypt.

His jobs often came out of the blue, and he was required to rapidly travel from one state to another, for example when he was required suddenly to travel to Egypt after Abu Nabaa asked him to accompany Harry Junior.

al-Masaafa was surprised and asked Harry Junior why they were traveling, and was taken by surprise when Harry Junior told him that his father and Abu Nabaa were being threatened by ‘al-Qa’ida’.

al-Masaafa added that Harry Junior was attacked in Khalda area of Amman when unidentified individuals driving two Mercedes cars attacked him, prompting al-Masaafa to intervene to protect him. As a result al-Masaafa’s lips were spilt and his eyelid torn and he had to get 11 stitches in hospital.

al-Masaafa then traveled to Germany for a cosmetic procedure at his own expense. On returning to Amman he asked Mustafa al-Nabaa’s father, Abdul Qadr Abu Nabba to intervene in order for him to be financially compensated. Abdul Qadr spoke with the company’s financial director who refused to pay the amount on the pretext that al-Masaafa worked for Abu Nabaa and Sergaent, which meant that he had to be paid by them privately and not by the company.

al-Masaafa, who is 38 and three children, said that he then tried to call Sergaent to demand the compensation he deserved by being exposed to danger on more than one occasion in the course of work, but Sergaent did not reply to phone calls. Once when al-Masaafa called someone who he thinks is ‘Marty Martin’ who worked previously as a boss in the CIA and was appointed by Sergaent to replace al-Salah to improve relations with the Jordanian government, according to documents from the US tribunal.

The government documents indicate that Sergaent appointed Marty Martin, previously Director of the CIA in the Middle East and appealed to him to strengthen the relationship with the Jordanian government at a time when al-Salah was being estranged and defrauded, according to al-Salah’s lawyer.

Sergaent, a former official in the Republican Party in Florida, was one of the closest business partners to the Pentagon and won billions of dollars worth of oil contracts during the war in Iraq.

A member of the US congress, Henry Waxman, who headed the inquiry, said in a letter to the US Minister of Defense, Robert Gates, that Sergaent had exploited his effective monopoly over supply routes across Jordanian land to inflate the prices of his services ‘scandalously’, and he described this as the worst form of war profiteering and trafficking.

The Pentagon’s audit process last month revealed that the ministry had paid up to 204 million USD too much to Sergaent for fuel contracts thought to be worth around 2.7 billion USD over six years.

The financial audit report added that the Ministry of Defense had agreed to Sergaent’s highly inflated prices because there was no competitive service that could obtain an ‘exclusive’ authorization letter from the Jordanian government.

al-Masaafa asked the person who believes was Marty Martin to deliver a message to Sergaent saying that he was entitled to compensation from him, and ‘Martin’ replied in Arabic that he would tell Sergaent and get back to him, which he never did.

al-Masaafa is threatening to sue the Jordanian partner Abu Nabaa and the American, Sergaent, in Jordanian courts if he is not financially compensated to the value of 150 thousand Jordanian Dinars.

Source: Ammon News.
Link: http://en.ammonnews.net/article.aspx?articleNO=13609.

Advertisements

, , ,

  1. Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: