Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

St Lucia government upholds diplomatic immunity for Saudi billionaire
Published on January 19, 2016 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dr Walid Juffali

CASTRIES, St Lucia -- The government of Saint Lucia has informed Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) that it intends to uphold the principle of diplomatic immunity by allowing its permanent representative to the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to invoke his diplomatic immunity in a civil case brought by his ex-wife in the United Kingdom.

The government advised the FCO of its position last Friday, after it received a letter from the FCO requesting the government of Saint Lucia to lift the immunity of Saudi billionaire Dr Walid Juffali.

Subsequent to the receipt of the letter, the representative of the government of Saint Lucia, along with its attorney, met with FCO officials to discuss the matter.

The government of Saint Lucia said it has been assured by the FCO that Juffali has not abused the privileges and immunities afforded to him, nor is the decision of the government of Saint Lucia to uphold the principle of diplomatic immunity an abuse of these privileges or immunities in any way.

“While the government of Saint Lucia fully respects the decision of the FCO to make such a request, it is not satisfied, based on its own examination of the facts, that a compelling case has been made out to grant a waiver of the diplomatic immunity of Dr Juffali,” a release from the Prime Minister’s Office stated.

The government of Saint Lucia explained that, based on all legal advice and precedence established in international diplomatic practice, the principle of diplomatic immunity must be safeguarded and should only be lifted in exceptional cases. Further, it must be a decision of the sending state, in this case Saint Lucia.

The government of Saint Lucia said it is clear that, based on the legal advice it received and diplomatic practice in such matters, this case does not warrant the lifting of the Juffali’s immunity. The government of Saint Lucia noted, in particular, that no precedent could be cited to show that such a request had been acceded to in the past.

The government of Saint Lucia has therefore maintained its position that the parties should be allowed to settle their matrimonial dispute through negotiations and, failing that, the courts should decide if immunity can be waived in this matter.

According to London’s Daily Telegraph, Juffali’s name first appeared on the Diplomatic List in September 2014 as Saint Lucia’s permanent representative to the IMO.

However, there is no public record of Juffali attending any meetings of the IMO, nor does he possess any known qualifications in maritime law. The Saint Lucia government declined to say how many hours per week he spent at the country’s High Commission in London.

He chairs the Juffali Group, one of Saudi Arabia’s largest conglomerates, and also holds a doctorate in neuro-science from Imperial College London.
Reads: 5910

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Fredf Loeffler:

I wonder how much money has exchanged hands!

Giselle Nicholson:

It seems to me that the gentleman bought himself a diplomatic office to be immune from justice. Looks bad for the donor state!


Very 'dodgy' arguments on behalf of this gentleman. No maritime qualifications, no record of attendance. A civil case probably having nothing to do with his status as a 'diplomat'.

Maybe it is time for a precedent to be created....

Patrick Ferrari:

Fredf, a lot.

Giselle, he is as much of a gentleman as Trump is. Moolah does not make them that.

Mauro, a loose and dodgy use the "gentleman" handle.

I am from St. Vincent and a body with a Vincentian diplomatic passport was caught at Heathrow or the other with a bag full of coke.

That, too, leaves me with Fredf's non-question question.

C. ben-David:

These pipsqueek Caribbean countries will soon rue the day they got into this dodgy diplomatic passport business.

Walid Juffali only sought this passport to avoid paying out a huge amount of his fortune to his ex-wife in a divorce settlement.


As a result of our comments feature being overtaken in recent weeks by spammers using fake email addresses, producing a large number of bounced verification emails each day, we have reluctantly decided to suspend the comments section until further notice.

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: