On 17 September 2021, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia held that it did not have jurisdiction to hear a complaint initiated by Mohamed Soltan against Hazem Abdel Aziz El Beblawi, former Prime Minister of Egypt and Egypt’s Principal Resident Representative to the International Monetary Fund. The complaint related to a period of political unrest in Egypt between 2013 and 2014 during Mr Beblawi’s premiership.
Acting for Mr El Beblawi, Steven Kay QC and Joshua Kern provided international law support to the US team led by Robert H. Bunzel of Bartko Zankel Bunzel and Ambassador (ret) Timothy M. Broas of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. The defence argued that Mr Beblawi’s diplomatic status, based on his IMF position, made him immune from service of process and from suit. The Court agreed and held that Mr Beblawi was entitled to diplomatic immunity pursuant to US constitutional principles, Article V, Section 15(4) of the UN Headquarters Agreement, and Article 31(1) of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations.
Al Ahram’s report on the decision is available here.