News / Middle East

Saudi Prince Loses UK Court Battle Over Gadhafi Jet

Prince Alwaleed bin Talal gestures as arrives at the High Court, London July 2, 2013.
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal gestures as arrives at the High Court, London July 2, 2013.
Reuters
A billionaire Saudi prince was ordered by a British court on Wednesday to pay a $10 million commission linked to the sale of a private jet to Libya's Colonel Gadhafi, in a humiliating legal defeat for one of the world's richest men.
 
The High Court judgment was scathing for Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, who testified in person for two days at the trial earlier this month.
 
Judge Peter Smith rejected the prince's evidence on all key points in the dispute, describing it in his written ruling as “confusing,” “unreliable,” “hopeless” and “pathetic.”
 
The prince was being sued by Daad Sharab, a Jordanian businesswoman who said she was not paid any commission for brokering the sale of the jet, which was completed in 2006 for $120 million.
 
The prince's defense was that there was no agreement to pay a $10 million commission but rather that Sharab would be paid “at his discretion.” He told the court he paid her nothing because during the protracted sale she had “moved to the Libyan camp.”
 
The judge wrote: “At the end of the day I simply found his evidence confusing and too unreliable and Mrs. Sharab's was more credible on any dispute of fact between them.”
 
It was clear, the ruling said, that the prince's memory of some of the details was poor and that he had “made up” evidence as he went along.
 
“His attempts to bolster that defect in the witness box were frankly pathetic and he demonstrated great amounts of confusion,” the judge added.
 
In a statement, Prince Alwaleed said he would appeal the ruling.
 
“Prince Alwaleed believes today's ruling is wrong and is not an accurate analysis of all of the evidence before the court,” the statement said.
 
‘Completely demolished’
 
Sharab said in a statement of her own she was relieved after a stressful seven years of litigation.
 
“It will be extremely disappointing if the prince fails to accept the decision of this court and yet again attempts to delay payment of the agreed fee of $10 million,” she said.
 
The prince is number 26 on the Forbes global ranking of billionaires. The U.S. magazine estimates his fortune at $20 billion while he says the figure is closer to $30 billion.
 
Through his Kingdom Holding Company, the prince owns large stakes in Citigroup, News Corp and Apple Inc., among other companies. He is also the owner or part-owner of luxury hotels including the Plaza in New York, the Savoy in London and the George V in Paris.
 
His cross-examination in court is likely to have been the most hostile public grilling of a senior Saudi royal. The judge wrote that Sharab's lawyer had “completely demolished” the prince on one of the most important points at issue.
 
The Airbus jet at the heart of the dispute has a history as colorful as its customized interior, which boasted a Jacuzzi, a king-size bed and a throne-like leather armchair.
 
Gadhafi sent the plane to pick up Lockerbie bomber Abdel Basset al-Megrahi when he was freed from a Scottish jail in 2009, and it was shown off as a trophy by rebels who toppled Gadhafi in 2011 and posed for the press on its silver-colored leather sofas.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine May Be in Use by Jan.

WHO assistant director Dr. Marie Paule Kieny says clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, US and Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid