LONDON: A gay Saudi prince strangled and beat his male servant to death during an apparent sex attack in a London hotel room, a British court heard today.
Saud Bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir al Saud, 34, a member of the Saudi royal family, denies murdering 32-year-old Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz on February 15 at the Landmark Hotel.
Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw told the Old Bailey in London, England's Central Criminal Court, that Saud had admitted killing his servant so the jury had to decide if he was guilty of murder or the less serious charge of manslaughter.
He said the dead man was found beaten and strangled in bed in the room that he was sharing with the prince.
Injuries including bite marks to the servant's cheeks revealed the "ferocity of the attack to which he had been subjected", which had happened when the pair were alone, said Laidlaw.
The prince had attacked his servant on several previous occasions, including one that was caught on security camera footage in the hotel's lift in January, he said.
Saud had claimed the pair were friends and that he was heterosexual, but "the evidence establishes quite conclusively that he is either gay or that he has homosexual tendencies," the prosecutor said.
"The defendant's concealing of the sexual aspect to his abuse of the victim was for altogether more sinister reasons and it tends to suggest that there was a sexual element to the circumstances of the killing," Laidlaw said.
The prince, who appeared in the dock with a shaven head and listening through an interpreter, also denies causing his servant grievous bodily harm.