JNN 30 May 2013 London : In recent years revelations have been made concerning the involvement of members of Al Saud royal family in scandals in the UK ranging from murder to bribery despite the Saudi regime’s efforts to keep the veil of secrecy and the British government’s attempts to downplay the controversial affairs for the sake of its petro dollars.
In October 2010, a British court sentenced a Saudi prince to the maximum penalty of life in prison for murdering his servant.
Prince Saud Abdulaziz Bin Nasser, a grandson of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz, was jailed for killing Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz in London’s Marylebone hotel on 15 February 2010, after subjecting him to a “sadistic” campaign of violence and sexual abuse.
In March 2013, however, Britain’s Ministry of Justice confirmed that the 36-year-old royal flew back to Saudi Arabia after he was granted a transfer to a prison in his homeland.
In June 2010, British Foreign Secretary William Hague also released details of crimes diplomatic staff were accused of, citing staff from the Saudi Arabian mission being suspected of human trafficking and sexual assault.
Moreover, in July 2011, a report showed the number of foreign diplomats and embassy staff in London being arrested over crimes is on the rise, with Saudi Arabia’s embassy topping the list.
According to the figures released by the Metropolitan Police, Saudi Arabia’s mission has produced the highest number of offenders, with four of its embassy staff nabbed for drink-drive charges and another for shoplifting.
Meanwhile, in July 2012, Saudi Princess Sara bint Talal bin Abdul Aziz claimed asylum in the UK over fears for her safety back home.
The princess went to the UK in 2007 after she fell out with her 80-year-old father Prince Talal bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.
The political asylum request, which came weeks after the death of her uncle and main supporter Crown Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz, who was an opponent of her father, offered an insight into the tensions within the Saudi royal family.
In August 2012, Britain’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) opened an investigation into allegations that a British defence firm deposited millions of pounds into a bank account in Switzerland belonging to one of the members of the Saudi royal family.
The deposit was reported to have been made to ensure that British Ministry of Defence (MoD) would grant a two-billion pounds contract to GPT, a British wing of European Aeronautic Defense & Space (EADS).
The bribery allegations were first brought to light by Ian Foxley, former employee of GPT Special Project Management, who claimed he was sacked after telling the SFO that Saudi officials had been given jewellery, luxury cars and briefcases full of cash.
In 2004, the BBC revealed that secret slush funds were used by the UK’s leading arms maker, BAE Systems, to grease the wheels of the biggest arms deals in British history.
Prince Turki bin Nasser, the Saudi official in charge of the al-Yamamah deal, was found to have been the principal beneficiary of a £60 million slush fund paid through Traveller’s World, a West End travel agency.
The UK Serious Fraud Office launched an investigation into allegations of bribery relating to BAE and the Saudi royals. But the UK government stopped the probe, fearing that it could ruin lucrative arms contracts with Saudi Arabia.
The then British Prime Minister Tony Blair said in December 2006 that the fraud inquiry was being suspended as it was putting diplomatic cooperation between Riyadh and London at risk.
In 1985, the British and Saudi governments began negotiations on a series of unprecedented arms contract known as Al-Yamamah. However, allegations emerged that BAE Systems made corrupt payments totalling £6 billion to Saudi royals to secure the arms deal.
Prince Bandar, son of Prince Sultan, the Saudi Defence Minister also played a key role in negotiations for the deal. According to the reports, the deal brought more than $30 million (£15 million) to Bandar’s dollar account at Riggs Bank in Washington.
In March 2013, court papers showed Prince Mishal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a former defense minister, and his son Prince Abdulaziz bin Mishal, were involved in a case of London-based company that allegedly facilitated money laundering.
According to contested allegations in court documents obtained by the Guardian and Financial Times, a brother and nephew of Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz are embroiled in litigation with Jordanian businessman Faisal Almhairat over London-registered telecommunications company FI Call Ltd which they jointly owned.
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