x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Saudi prince 'sexually assaults, murders manservant'

A Saudi prince murdered his servant after 'a ferocious assault' in a room they shared at a fashionable London hotel, court told.

LONDON // A Saudi prince strangled his manservant in a ferocious assault in the room they shared at a fashionable London hotel, the jury at a murder trial heard yesterday.

On the first day of the trial of Prince Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, 34 and a grandson of King Abdullah, the prosecution claimed that he killed Bandar Abdulaziz, 32, at the Landmark Hotel in February. Jonathan Laidlaw, the prosecutor said there were signs of "physical beating" of Abdulaziz.

"There is clear evidence that there was also a sexual element to his mistreatment of the victim," he said.

As the prince now admits carrying out the killing, it would be for the jury to decide if he is guilty of murder or manslaughter, Mr Laidlaw added.

The proceedings at the Central Criminal Court were watched from the public gallery by Prince al Saud's father, Prince Abdulaziz, a nephew of the king, and the accused's brother Faisal. The brothers' mother is a daughter of the king.

Abdulaziz had been subjected to frequent beatings after the pair arrived for an "extended holiday" in January, the jury heard. The trial, expected to last two weeks, continues today. dsapsted@thenational.ae