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Saudi Prince jailed for life over murder of servant

Al Saud has been sentence to life imprisonment after being found guilty of murdering his servant in a brutal attack at a London hotel.

CCTV handout image issued by the Metropolitan Police of one of the attacks.
CCTV handout image issued by the Metropolitan Police of one of the attacks.

A SAUDI PRINCE who has been found guilty by a British court of the murder of his manservant has been sentenced to life imprisonment.

Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Saud, was sentenced to a minimum of 20 years at London’s Central Criminal court for the murder of Nadar Abdulaziz.

Abdulaziz was found beaten and strangled in the Landmark Hotel in Marylebourne in February this year. The court heard how the killing was the last act in a deeply abusive relationship.

The BBC reports that thirty four-year-old Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Saud, whose father is a nephew of the Saudi king and whose mother is the monarch’s daughter, was fuelled by champagne and cocktails when he bit his servant hard on both cheeks during the attack after a Valentine’s Day party.

Jurors heard that Bandar Abdulaziz was left so worn down and injured – having suffered a “cauliflower” ear and a swollen eye from previous assaults – that he let Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Saud kill him without a fight.

Al Saud admitted the manslaughter charge, though he denied murder.

But in court the prince’s lawyers seemed more concerned with covering up evidence of Al Saud’s homosexuality – it is a capital offence in Saudi Arabia, while murder is not. His barrister, John Kelsey-Fry QC, argued the question of sexuality was irrelevant to the case and pointed out homosexual acts were a “mortal sin” under Islamic sharia law.

But a string of witnesses told how Al Saud was known to have enjoyed a playboy lifestyle involving trysts in five star hotels with male escorts, Press Association reports.

The Old Bailey had been told the assault had a “sexual element” and the prince had attacked Abdulaziz many times before. Lawyers for the prosecution described the murder of Abdulaziz as the final act in a “deeply abusive” master-servant relationship in which Al Saud carried out frequent attacks on his aide “for his own personal gratification”.

The suggestion that there was a sexual element in the murder could mean Al Saud could face death if he returns to Saudi Arabia, where homosexuality is a capital offence.

After the attack, Al Saud spent hours on the phone to a contact in Saudi Arabia trying to work out how to cover up what he had done. However, when the police looked at the hotel’s CCTV footage, they discovered video showing the prince attacking Abdulaziz on two separate occasions. In one of the videos, Abdulaziz could be seen cowering in a corner as his employers rained down blows on him. Afterwards, the BBC adds, “he walked meekly after his master like a scolded dog.”

Lawyer for the prosecution, Jonathan Laidlaw QC, said:

Beneath the surface this was a deeply abusive relationship which the defendant exploited, as the assaults in the lift so graphically demonstrate, for sadistic reasons, for his own personal gratification. The abuse extended beyond physical abuse. There was plainly an emotional element and psychological element to it.

This video, which was shown at the trial, includes footage that viewer may find disturbing:

About the author:

Jennifer O'Connell

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