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U.S. DISTRICT COURT DISMISSES $10.5 BILLION BCCI SUIT AGAINST SHEIKH KHALID BIN MAHFOUZ AND NATIONAL COMMERCIAL BANK

 WASHINGTON, D.C., July 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The United States District Court for the District of Columbia has dismissed the lawsuit that the liquidators for Bank of Credit and Commerce International SA (of Luxembourg) and related entities had filed against Sheikh Khalid bin Mahfouz of Saudi Arabia, the National Commercial Bank (NCB), Saudi Arabia's largest bank, which is majority owned by the bin Mahfouz family, and Haroon R. Kahlon, a former NCB official. The suit, seeking $10.5 billion in damages -- trebled under the provisions of the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) -- was filed last December 9.
 In a 20 page opinion, Federal Judge Joyce Hens Green granted the defendants' motion for dismissal based on the principle of "forum non conveniens" (inconvenient forum). In essence, she concluded that the United Kingdom, where the same BCCI liquidators had also filed a suit last December based on the same allegations, is both an adequate alternative and a preferable forum to decide the dispute.
 She observed, among other things, that American victims were limited to those presumed few with offshore bank accounts; that the core of the dispute is whether the defendants contributed to the collapse of BCCI, not their alleged acquisition of interests in First American Bank, and that millions of documents, as well as witnessed shedding light on the core issues, are more available in England than the U.S.
 Gary P. Naftalis of Kramer, Levin, Naftalis, Nessen, Kamin & Frankel, Sheikh Khalid's U.S. counsel, said: "We are gratified with the court's decision dismissing this duplicative litigation. It was an unfair and unnecessary use of the RICO statute and the American courts. We are confident that Sheikh Khalid will be completely vindicated in all remaining cases, just as he was in this instance."
 Lawrence G. Smith, a spokesman for Sheikh Khalid, said, "Sheikh Khalid is deeply pleased with this outcome. He has always believed that the liquidators filed the same suit on the same day in two countries principally for harassment, a tactic which cost both Sheikh Khalid and the depositors of BCCI substantial and unnecessary legal expenses."
 -0- 7/27/93
 /CONTACT: Tim Metz of Abernathy/MacGregor/Scanlon, 212-371-5999/


CO: ST: District of Columbia IN: FIN SU:

SM-MG -- NY093 -- 6463 07/27/93 17:28 EDT
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Date:Jul 27, 1993
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