Saudi prince ordered to pay murder prosecution costs

A gay Saudi prince jailed for life last month for murdering the servant he used as a "human punchbag" was today ordered to pay prosecution costs of £63,763.

Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, 34, now faces a total legal bill - with his own defence included - running well over £100,000 for the Old Bailey trial.

He was neither present nor represented at a brief costs hearing at the court today presided over by trial judge Mr Justice Bean.

The prince killed 32-year-old Bandar Abdulaziz in a brutal assault with a "sexual element" in a five-star hotel room in central London in February, in the final act of a campaign of "sadistic" abuse, the trial had heard.

After being convicted of murder he was told he must serve at least 20 years behind bars before becoming eligible for parole.

Saud, a member of one of the world's wealthiest and most powerful families, was represented in the early stages of proceedings by Michael Wolkind QC.

But by the time of the prince's trial, the leading barrister had been replaced by another highly-rated lawyer, John Kelsey-Fry QC.

During the police investigation, 30,000 euros in cash belonging to the prince were discovered in a safe at the Landmark Hotel where he and Mr Abdulaziz stayed.

Officers also found a diamond-studded Cartier watch worth £24,000 and another watch from Harry Winston - whose value could be up to £50,000.

During a brief ruling today, the judge said the defence did not oppose the prosecution's application for costs, which must be paid by January 17.