LONDON, July 31 A billionaire Saudi prince lost
a London court battle on Wednesday when a judge ordered that he
should pay a $10-million commission linked to the sale of a
luxurious private jet to former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
The High Court ruling is an embarrassment for Prince
Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah,
who gave evidence in person for two days at the trial earlier
The prince was being sued by Daad Sharab, a Jordanian
businesswoman who said she was not paid any commission for
brokering the sale of the jet to Gaddafi, which was completed in
2006 for $120 million.
The prince's defence was that there was no agreement to pay
a $10-million commission but rather that Sharab would be paid
"at his discretion". He told the court he paid her nothing
because during the protracted sale she had "moved to the Libyan
Judge Peter Smith ruled in favour of Sharab, who issued a
statement urging Prince Alwaleed to heed the court ruling and
The prince is number 26 on the Forbes global ranking of
billionaires. The U.S. magazine estimates his fortune at $20
billion while he says the figure is closer to $30 billion.
Through his Kingdom Holding Company, the prince
owns large stakes in Citigroup, News Corp and
Apple Inc, among other companies. He is also the owner
or part-owner of luxury hotels including the Plaza in New York,
the Savoy in London and the George V in Paris.