|Security camera footage showed al Saud beating Abdulaziz in the hotel’s lift just weeks before the aide was found dead|
A British court has heard allegations that a Saudi prince beat his servant to death in what the prosecution team allege was a frenzied sex attack.
Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, 34, is accused of murdering Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz on February 15, after allegedly abusing him for months. The victim is an orphan who was adopted by a wealthy family in Saudi Arabia. He travelled with the prince over the past three years.
The trial, which opened at the London criminal court on Tuesday, has shown a CCTV video of the prince assaulting Abdulaziz in a hotel lift, about three weeks before he was found dead.
The prosecution said the 32-year-old victim’s submissive behaviour during the attack is evidence that he was used to abuse and had been subjected to an ongoing campaign of violence.
“It is a nasty assault with the victim suffering a whole series of blows being struck with both fists and elbows,” Jonathan Laidlaw, the prosecutor, said.
“What is also evident from the victim’s behaviour is that he had become by this point almost entirely submissive.”
He added that bloodstains found on the pillow and in the hotel room were “consistent with the victim having been the subject of a series of separate assaults before he was killed.”
Abdulaziz was found dead on a bed at London’s Landmark Hotel with bite marks on his cheeks, and injuries to his face, back, neck and abdomen.
An autopsy also found evidence of strangulation.
Laidlaw said the bite marks had “an obvious sexual connotation”, but al Saud has insisted that the pair were friends. The prince maintained that he is heterosexual.
The prosecutor said al Saud was “concealing of the sexual aspect to his abuse” for “altogether more sinister reasons and it tends to suggest that there was a sexual element to the circumstances of the killing.”
Al Saud, who has denied murder but accepted manslaughter, told police that the pair drank at the hotel bar until the early hours of the morning on February 15 before returning to the room.
He said when he woke in the afternoon he could not wake the victim.
The trial is due to resume later on Wednesday.