Prosecutor: Video shows Saudi prince beating aide

Prince accused of sexually assaulting, strangling assistant to death while drunk in London hotel; defense denies two were in gay relationship.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS, JPOST.COM STAFF
October 6, 2010 13:49
2 minute read.
crime scene chalk outline 88

crime scene 88. (photo credit: )

Security camera footage captured a Saudi  prince savagely beating his servant in a luxury hotel elevator only weeks before the aide was slain, a British prosecutor said Tuesday.

Prince Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud is accused of murdering Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz in a frenzied sex attack at London's Landmark Hotel on Feb. 15. Abdulaziz was found beaten and strangled to death in the room the two shared at London's Landmark Hotel.

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Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw told London's Central Criminal Court that there was evidence of a sexual assault, including bite marks on the victim's cheeks.

Laidlaw also said there was evidence that the 34-year-old royal, whose grandfather is a brother of the current Saudi king, had abused his aide in the past, showing jurors video shot in the Landmark's elevator which appears to show the shaven-headed prince, dressed in white, throwing his 32-year-old servant around and battering him.

Abdulaziz, dressed in black, occasionally tries to protect his head but otherwise meekly absorbs the punches.

"It is a nasty assault with the victim suffering a whole series of blows being struck with both fists and elbows," Laidlaw said. "What is also evident from the victim's behavior is that he had become by this point almost entirely submissive.

"He either could not or did not at any stage offer any sort of resistance to the assault, attempt to fight back or even raise his hand to the defendant."

During cross examination of a witness on Wednesday, the prince's lawyer denied that the prince was in a gay relationship with the victim, the BBC reported. "It is not accepted that this was in fact a gay couple - but I readily accept that you had the impression they were a gay couple."

The witness, who is gay himself, said that he believed the two were gay because of the way they color-coded their clothes, according to the BBC report. "It was impossible not to notice that he was homosexual," the witness testified on Wednesday.

Al Saud originally told police that he and Abdulaziz had been drinking into the early hours of the morning, and that when he awoke at 3 p.m. he could not rouse him.

But Laidlaw said Al Saud has admitted manslaughter but denied charges of murder and causing grievous bodily harm.

The defense has yet to present its case.


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