Saudi prince jailed for life by London court

Last Updated 20 October 2010, 12:04 IST

Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, 34 was ordered to serve 20 years by the judge at London's Old Bailey for the murder of his aide Bandar Abdulaziz, 32, which had a "sexual element".

"It is very unusual for a prince to be in the dock on a murder charge. No one in this country is above the law," as the judge David Been read out the sentence.

The aide was found beaten and strangled in the Landmark Hotel, Marylebone on February 15 this year and the court convicted the prince on charges of beating and strangling Bandar Abdulallah at the culmination of a lengthy period of sexual violence.

Saud, whose mother is the daughter of the Saudi Arabian King had claimed diplomatic immunity at the time of his arrest and was also found to be carrying a diplomatic passport, the BBC reported.

But, the British Foreign office ruled he had no diplomatic status when asked by the police.
Prosecutors said, that the prince was high on champagne and cocktails when he murdered his aide after the pair had returned to hotel after a Valentine Day's night out.

The prince had denied murder charges in the court which was shown footage of the CCTV. 

Though the Saudi prince disclaimed gay tendencies in the court, the prosecutors said he had ordered gay escorts in London and had frequently looked at websites for gay massage parlours and escort agencies.

The princes lawyers argued in the court that he could face death penalty in Saudi Arabia over the revelations of homosexuality, voiced in the court.

According to the police post-mortem report the aide suffered chipped teeth, blows to the head, injuries to the brain and ears and severe neck injuries, consistent with strangulation

(Published 20 October 2010, 12:04 IST)

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