October 6, 2010 / 6:01 AM / 9 years ago

Saudi prince killed servant, London court told

LONDON (Reuters) - A Saudi prince killed his servant in their room at a luxury London hotel in a ferocious beating which had a sexual element, a British court was told Tuesday.

Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud (L) is seen with his servant Bandar Abdulaziz in an elevator in London's Landmark hotel on January 22, 2010, in closed circuit television footage which was shown during a murder trial in London on October 5, 2010. REUTERS/Metropolitan Police/handout

Bandar Abdulaziz, was found dead in bed at the Landmark Hotel in central London on February 15 this year, having suffered extensive injuries, including bite marks to his cheeks, the Old Bailey jury was told.

The 32-year-old had spent the previous three years traveling as an occasional companion of Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, whose father is a nephew of the Saudi king and whose mother is a daughter of the king, the court heard.

The servant had suffered “a series of heavy punches or blows to his head and face,” leaving his left eye closed and swollen, his lips split open and his teeth chipped and broken, prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw said.

There also were injuries to his ears and internal bruising and bleeding to the brain, as well as severe injuries to the neck consistent with manual compression, the court was told.

The prosecution said the victim had deep bruising to the back, a rib fracture and trauma to the stomach caused by heavy punches or kicks, the Press Association reported.

“The post-mortem examination was to reveal the ferocity of the attack to which he had been subjected before he died,” Laidlaw said.

It was not the first time the victim had been subjected to beatings, including one incident after which his ear needed reconstruction, he said.

Closed-circuit TV cameras had caught Abdulaziz being hit by the defendant in the hotel lift on January 22 and February 5 and outside a restaurant on the night leading up to his death, Laidlaw said.

Saud had said his aide had been attacked and robbed on a London street three weeks before his death.

Laidlaw told jurors the 34-year-old prince now admitted the killing. He denies murder and one count of grievous bodily harm with intent.

Saud said he and his servant were “friends and equals” and that he was heterosexual, jurors were told.

But Laidlaw said:” The evidence establishes quite conclusively that he is either gay or that he has homosexual tendencies.”

Editing by Michael Roddy

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