A Saudi prince beat his servant to death in a London hotel after weeks of physical and sexual abuse, a court heard yesterday.
Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, 34, killed Bandar Abdulaziz in a murder of "ferocity" which had a "sexual element", it is claimed.
Mr Abdulaziz, 32, was found on February 15, beaten and strangled in suite 312 of the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone which he was sharing with the prince.
A series of injuries including bite marks to Mr Abdulaziz's cheeks revealed the "ferocity of the attack to which he had been subjected", a jury was told. His lips had been split, his teeth broken and he had brain injuries.
Bones in his neck had been fractured, consistent with strangulation, and there was deep bruising to the back, fractured ribs and trauma to the abdomen caused by punches or kicks.
The jury at the Old Bailey heard that when arrested al Saud, 34, claimed the pair had been friends and equals. Mr Abdulaziz was in fact al Saud's servant and sometimes slept on the floor at the foot of his bed.
The prince at first claimed his aide had been robbed and attacked three weeks before his death, the court heard. But CCTV footage from a hotel lift shown to the jury revealed the victim had been subjected to a "really nasty assault" by the prince on January 22, said prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw, QC.
Escorts On the night of the alleged murder the men ate at Scalini's restaurant in Knightsbridge where staff said Mr Abdulaziz looked as if he had been "badly beaten up".
They then returned to the hotel where they drank champagne in the bar before going up to the suite. Police were called by the hotel the following afternoon.
Mr Laidlaw said: "Theirs was a far more complicated relationship than the defendant was prepared to admit. Abuse was not confined to physical violence. There was a sexual element as well."
The prince has denied being gay but the court heard a barman at the Sanderson Hotel said the prince flirted with him and suggested they go on a date. Two male escorts also visited the prince's hotel suite and police said that he had visited gay escort websites.
The prince, a grandson of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, is alleged to have subjected his aide to repeated vicious assaults over several weeks. The court heard that the victim, an orphan who had been adopted by a middle-class family, had met Saud through friends and spent the last three years travelling as an "occasional companion".
The jury will decide if the prince is guilty of murder or manslaughter after he admitted the killing.
He denies grievous bodily harm with intent. The trial continues.
A complex royal family tree
Saud Abdulazaziz bin Nasser al Saud is a grandson of the King of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah.
His father, Prince Abdulaziz, is a nephew of the king and his mother is one of his many daugh-ters. King Abdullah took the throne in 2005 after the death of his half-brother King Fahd, who had suffered numerous strokes.
The Saudi royal family tree is highly complex with some estimates putting their numbers at up to 25,000. However, most experts agree that the true figure is around 7,000, with the power and influence being wielded by around 200 royals. The king, aided by a committee of princes, rules over Saudi's population of 28million people.
The current kingdom was founded in 1902 by King Abdul Aziz bin Saud.
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