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

China Investigates Former Powerful Security Chief

Former security chief and member of Politburo Standing Committee, Zhou Yongkang, under investigation for suspected 'serious disciplinary violation' More

India, US Look to Reset Ties During Kerry Visit

This week's talks will be first high level interaction between two countries since Prime Minister Narendra Modi took charge More

Video Young African Leadership Program Renamed to Honor Mandela

YALI program, launched by President Obama in 2010, aims to build skills in business, entrepreneurship, public management and civic leadership 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.
Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spati
X
Reasey Poch
July 28, 2014 7:18 PM
China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video ESA Spacecraft to Land on a Comet

After a long flight through deep space, a European Space Agency probe is finally approaching its target -- a comet millions of kilometers away from earth. Scientists say the mission may lead to some startling discoveries about the origins of the water on earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Africans Arrive in US for Leadership Program

President Barack Obama's Young African Leadership Initiative has brought hundreds of young Africans to the United States for a six-week program aimed at building their knowledge and skills in fields such as public administration and business. Out of the 50,000 young Africans who applied for the program, just one percent was accepted. VOA's Laurel Bowman caught up with some of those who made the cut and has this report.
Video

Video In Honduras, Amnesty Rumors Fuel US Migration Surges

False rumors in Central America are fueling the current surge of undocumented young people being apprehended at the U.S. border. The inaccurate claims suggest the U.S. will give amnesty to young migrants from the region. As VOA's Brian Padden reports from Honduras, these rumors trace back to President Obama's 2012 executive order to halt deportations for some young undocumented immigrants already living in the United States.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid