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.
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

36 people are confirmed dead, but some 266 remain trapped on board More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid