Belfast Telegraph

Monday 20 October 2014

Life term for murder of servant

Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud (left) with his servant Bandar Abdulaziz

A Saudi prince who used his servant as a "human punchbag" has been jailed for life for beating and strangling him to death.

Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, 34, stood with his arms folded and showed no emotion as he was told he must serve a minimum term of 20 years in jail.

The prince killed 32-year-old Bandar Abdulaziz in a brutal assault with a "sexual element" at their five-star hotel in central London in February.

It was the culmination of a campaign of "sadistic" abuse including a previous "nasty" assault in a hotel lift weeks before.

Mr Justice Bean told the prince, who had tried to claim diplomatic immunity when he was first arrested: "No-one in this country is above the law."

Saud, a member of one of the world's wealthiest and most powerful families, did not flinch as the judge described the injuries he had inflicted on the "subservient" Mr Abdulaziz.

The judge said: "I cannot be sure that you intended to kill your victim. I think the most likely explanation is that you could not care less whether you killed him or not."

Saud, shaven-headed and wearing a black top, was watched from the public gallery by his father Prince Abdulaziz, looking ashen-faced and glancing between his son in the dock and the judge passing sentence.

An Old Bailey jury heard how the prince bit his victim hard on both cheeks during his murderous attack at their suite in the Landmark hotel in Marylebone. He was found guilty of murder as well as a second count of grievous bodily harm with intent relating to the attack in the lift.

If he ever returns to his home country, Saud faces the possibility of execution because being gay is a capital offence there, and he could seek asylum in Britain when he is eventually released.

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