Khalid Al Thani, Emir Tamim’s brother, has been sued in the US by two ex bodyguards, who are accusing him of exploitation and threats since they refused to kill two people at Khalid’s request.
According to a federal lawsuit filed against Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad al Thani, a Pasco County defense contractor said that a member of the Qatari royal family asked him to kill two people and later held him against his will.
Matthew Pittard, 45, said he was hired to protect al Thani, the brother of the Emir of Qatar, in September 2017. But the relationship quickly soured.
Pittard’s lawsuit was filed last month in the Middle District of Florida in conjunction with Matthew Allende of California. Both alleged that al Thani withheld their wages and overtime, performed “unfair and/or deceptive acts,” and retaliated against them. Both said they they were often forced to work 60 to 96 hour work-weeks with no overtime and with minimal breaks to eat or sleep.
Matthew Pittard said it was his job to provide security services to al Thani and his family, both in the the United States and in Doha, Qatar. Shortly after he was hired, Pittard said al Thani asked him to murder a man and a woman that al Thani “viewed as threats to his social reputation and personal security,” the lawsuit reported. Matthew refused but he continued to work for al Thani until July 2018 when Pittard reached his breaking point. He alleged that al Thani held a U.S. citizen against his will on at least two occasions and eventually had that person jailed in Doha. Pittard added that he worked with the U.S. embassy to free the U.S. citizen, who was not identified in the lawsuit. That enraged his employer, Pittard said.
Al Thani told Matthew Pittard that he would “pay the price” for defying him and threatened to “kill him, bury his body in the desert and kill Pittard’s family,” according to the lawsuit. The U.S. State Department declined to comment on the alleged incident.
Days later, Pittard said he was held against his will and forced to sign termination documents while al Thani “tapped” a Glock 26 semiautomatic pistol. Pittard said his work equipment, electronics, medication and other belongings were all stolen.
Afterwards, al Thani continued to seek revenge, according to the complaint, and sabotaged a security and arms brokerage contract Pittard had negotiated with the Police Training Institute in Doha.
In the lawsuit, Allende, who stated he was employed as a paramedic, said he had his own run-ins with al Thani. He once tried to scale an 18-foot wall to escape the sheikh’s premises after being threatened at gunpoint by a guard, the lawsuit claims. He fell and sustained serious injuries that required surgery.
The Embassy of Qatar in Washington, D.C. did not respond to a request for comment.
Source: Tampa Bay Times
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