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Daily Fines Against Saudi Prince Increased to $25,000

December 14, 1991 GMT

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) _ A federal judge Friday ordered a Saudi prince to pay $25,000-a-day fine until he explains why he hasn’t paid a judgment awarded to a Virginia businessman.

U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III also said he is considering other actions against Prince Faisal Yazeed Abdullah Al-Saud and his attorneys.

Chawky B. Jabaly of Manassas said he provided consulting work that included computer equipment to begin a telecommunications network in Saudi Arabia five years ago. He claimed the prince bounced two checks.

Jabaly won his lawsuit by default.

And although, two attorneys representing the prince appeared in court Friday, the prince has remained absent from all eight contempt proceedings.

In August, Ellis found the prince in contempt of court and began fining him $100 a day after he missed a court appearance on the $250,000 judgment.

The fine then increased to $5,000 a day in September.

Lawyer Joseph P. Drennan, who represents Jabaly, Friday said the fines now total $458,600 and the underlying judgment is $245,000.

″The prince has been cocking a royal snook at the court,″ Drennan said. ″The prince ... apparently feels that the plaintiff and the court lay within his vesselry.″

Although the prince has promised to pay ″a generous settlement,″ nothing has materialized, Drennan added.

Salem Samaan, a Michigan lawyer who represents Prince Faisal, told the court that the prince is trying to raise the money to pay the fine.

Drennan said the prince’s whereabouts are unknown, but he was in Egypt several weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Ellis is also considering stripping the prince’s attorneys of any legal retainer they have received from him and issuing a bench warrant for Prince Faisal’s arrest, Drennan said.

Drennan has 21 days to file a brief regarding a possible bench warrant for the prince and his attorneys must now file a brief regarding their retainer, he said.