London

Servant 'let Saudi prince kill him without fight'

Bandar Abdulaziz
Image caption Bandar Abdulaziz was found beaten and strangled in the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone in February

A servant who was beaten and strangled by a Saudi prince died without putting up a fight, the Old Bailey has heard.

Bandar Abdulaziz was so worn down by "sadistic" abuse he suffered that he "let the defendant kill him" at London's Landmark Hotel, jurors heard.

But defending QC John Kelsey-Fry said this was an "astonishing" suggestion.

Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, 34, admits manslaughter but denies murder and one count of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

The latter charge is in relation to an earlier alleged attack in a hotel lift.

'Brutal attack'

The pair had a "master-servant" relationship in which Mr al Saud abused his aide for his "own personal gratification", Jonathan Laidlaw QC, prosecuting, said.

The victim's injuries showed the assault leading to his murder, on 15 February, "was a really terrible... really brutal attack", Mr Laidlaw said.

"So worn down by the violence, so subservient and submissive had Bandar become that he was incapable of any effective resistance.

"He was killed without apparently ever having fought back because the defendant was completely unharmed, without any mark at all, when he was examined at the police station.

"Bandar appears to have let the defendant kill him."

However speaking for the defence, Mr Kelsey-Fry questioned the prosecution's claim of a "master-servant relationship".

It did not matter "whether Bandar was a slave, as one witness rather grotesquely suggested, or servant, or aide or travelling companion or friend - or, for that matter, lover", he added.

"Whatever that relationship was, the defendant must live with the fact that he is responsible for Bandar's death and suffer the consequences of an inevitable conviction for manslaughter.

"The defendant is guilty, it is accepted, of a very serious offence."

The trial continues.

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