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United Nations removes Saudi businessman from blacklist

The U.N. Security Council committee monitoring sanctions against Al Qaeda removed a Saudi businessman from its blacklist Friday.

The committee chairman, Germany's U.N. Ambassador Peter Wittig, said that Yasin al-Qadi had been de-listed, following a recommendation by the blacklist's ombudsman to remove him.

Al-Qadi filed a lawsuit in 2009 in Washington, D.C. to be removed from a U.S. list of people accused of financing al-Qaida.

Al-Qadi's charitable Muwafaq foundation was identified by the U.S. Treasury department as an Al Qaeda front and placed on a terror list in October 2001. Al-Qadi, 57, has denied the accusations and has said that the foundation was closed even before the hijackings.

The U.S., European Union, Switzerland and Turkey all took action against al-Qadi. Over the past several years, a team of lawyers has worked successfully to overturn the decisions against al-Qadi in Turkey and Europe.

In 2009, the Security Council established an independent ombudsman to deal with requests to get off the U.N. blacklist.

Last year, the council strengthened the role of the ombudsman, presently Canadian lawyer Kimberly Prost. If the ombudsman recommends delisting, the person or entity will be taken off the sanctions list in 60 days unless the sanctions committee agrees by consensus to maintain sanctions.

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