Gay Saudi prince 'beat servant to death'

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A gay Saudi prince killed his servant in a murder of "ferocity" which had a "sexual element", a court has heard.

Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud had previously subjected Bandar Abdulaziz to physical assaults and mistreatment, the Old Bailey was told.

The 32-year-old victim was found beaten and strangled in bed at the London hotel room he was sharing with the prince on February 15.

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.

The prince at first claimed his aide had been robbed and attacked in Edgware Road three weeks before his death, the Old Bailey heard.

But CCTV footage from a lift at the Landmark hotel in Marylebone where they were staying showed the victim had been subjected to a "really nasty assault" by the defendant himself on January 22, said Jonathan Laidlaw QC, prosecuting.

It became clear to police that he had been killed "in the privacy of the room he had shared with the defendant and when alone with him", the court heard.

Further searches of CCTV footage revealed previous assaults on the victim by the defendant, Mr Laidlaw said.

The prince was arrested and detectives began trying to establish "the true nature of the relationship" between the men, he added.

Saud claimed they were "friends and equals" and that he was heterosexual, jurors were told.

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