A gay Saudi prince jailed for life in Britain for murdering his servant is to serve the rest of his sentence in his home country, a British government source said on Tuesday.
Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir, a grandson of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah II, was jailed in 2010 for killing Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz in a London hotel after subjecting him to a “sadistic” campaign of violence and sexual abuse.
The source confirmed that British Justice Secretary Chris Grayling has approved the 36-year-old prince's transfer to a jail in Saudi Arabia.
The source could not specify when the prince would be transferred, but The Times newspaper reported that he was expected to fly home within weeks.
Britain's justice ministry said it did not comment on individual prison transfer cases.
But a ministry spokeswoman told AFP: “We have a prison transfer arrangement with Saudi Arabia which allows nationals of either country to serve their prison sentence in their home state.”
Saud denied that he was gay but the trial at London's Old Bailey court heard that he had ordered gay escorts in London and had frequently looked at websites for gay massage parlours and escort agencies.
His lawyers argued that he could face the death penalty in Saudi Arabia over the revelations of homosexuality.
The jury heard that the prince was fuelled by champagne and cocktails when he beat and strangled Abdulaziz to death on February 15, 2010 after the pair had returned from a Valentine's Day night out.
A post-mortem found that Abdulaziz had suffered heavy blows to the head, injuries to the brain and ears and severe neck injuries consistent with strangulation by hand.
Prosecutors said bite marks on his cheeks showed a clear “sexual element” to the killing. - Sapa-AFP