Saudi prince in court over London murder

LONDON (Reuters) - A Saudi prince was remanded in custody on Friday after appearing in court accused of murdering his employee in a luxury London hotel.

Saud Bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, 33, is accused of killing Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz in the third-floor room of the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone, central London on Monday.

The Saudi royal is also charged with “unlawfully and maliciously” causing 32-year-old Abulaziz grievous bodily harm at the hotel on January 22.

Earlier in the week, police said a post-mortem found he had been strangled and had suffered a head injury.

The prince, wearing a long-sleeved white top and white trousers, stood in the dock at London’s City of Westminster Magistrate’s Court, flanked by an interpreter.

He spoke only to confirm his name and address during the 10-minute hearing.

“We look forward to a trial, when we will expose a prosecution case which has turned a genuine friendship of the deceased into a forced relationship of master and servant,” the prince’s lawyer Michael Wolkind said.

He was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey next week when his lawyer said an application for bail would be made.

He is due to enter an official plea at a hearing on May 28.

Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Steve Addison