Accused Saudi prince: Aide fell and banged his head
Tuesday 12 October 2010
A Saudi prince accused of murdering his servant told police the dead man had fallen and banged his head after drinking, a court heard today.
Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud said that after the fall he cradled Bandar Abdulaziz's head and gave him water, an Old Bailey jury was told.
The prince has admitted causing the death of 32-year-old Mr Abdulaziz, who was found dead at the men's central London hotel suite on February 15.
Saud, 34, denies murder and a second charge of grievous bodily harm with intent in relation to an alleged assault on the aide in a lift on January 22.
The court heard that, interviewed a few days after Mr Abdulaziz's death, the prince made a statement in which he said the aide had had "a lot to drink".
He said: "I heard Bandar fall in the small lobby area outside the bathroom. I heard a bang.
"He was lying face down on the ground where I found him. There were a few spots of blood but not that much."
The prince said he helped Mr Abdulaziz to the bed in their room at the Landmark Hotel in Marylebone, and that he had told him: "I am drunk."
"He had been taking antibiotics and painkillers. I did not see a lot of blood," Saud told detectives in the statement, read to the court by prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw.
The prince also said Mr Abdulaziz had been bleeding in the room from when he had previously been attacked, the court heard.
Referring to blood found on his clothes, he said: "I cradled Bandar's head on the 15th to give him water. His ear was bleeding. This may be how the blood got on."
Jurors have heard that Saud initially claimed that Mr Abdulaziz was robbed of 3,000 euro (£2,600) on Edgware Road a few weeks before the death.
Detective Sergeant Adam Manley told the court he had gone with the prince to the area to retrace the details of the supposed attack.
The prince told him that at the time it happened, he and Mr Abdulaziz had gone to the Ranoush Juice bar to get some food and as there was a queue, the aide had told him what he wanted and went to change some money, the court heard.
"He then said he had phoned Abdulaziz without success. He then left the restaurant and walked back across the road and then walked to Marble Arch," said Det Sgt Manley.
"He then said he was looking out for Bandar and walking slowly but did not see him again on the street. He said he walked a short distance then took a taxi that took him back to the hotel."
The prince said he had gone to his room where he found Mr Abdulaziz, who told him he had been attacked and "three Arab males had done it", the court heard.
But Det Sgt Manley was contacted by other detectives who had seen CCTV footage of the earlier alleged assault.
The officer hailed a taxi to take himself and Saud, along with an embassy official who was with them, to Paddington Green police station, where the prince was arrested.
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