The late King of Saudi Arabia, his 'secret' Christian wife and the missing £12 million: Janan Harb threatens to 'spill the beans' if 'promised' money isn't paid
The “secret” Christian wife of the late King of Saudi Arabia has won the right to pursue his son for a vast sum of cash and properties that she says he promised her before he died.
Janan Harb, 65, claims she was married to King Fahd in 1968, when she was 19 and he was a prince and minister of the interior. He later promised to provide for her financially for the rest of her life, she says.
She also claims that the King’s son, Prince Abdul Aziz, told her more than a decade ago that he would honour his father’s promise and offered her £12 million in cash and two high value central London properties – but so far has not given her anything.
Details of the case emerged at a hearing at the High Court in London on Monday, where Mrs Justice Rose ruled that the claim could proceed despite Prince Aziz claiming “state immunity” from the British legal system. The decision opens the way for a potentially embarrassing full hearing which could shine a light on the dealings of the House of Saud.
“After 12 years of persistence I am very happy and relieved,” Mrs Harb told reporters after the ruling. “If the prince is going to appeal, I am going to accept the offer of the movie of the book I have written – I am going to spill the beans.”
Now a British citizen, Mrs Harb claims she was forced to leave Saudi Arabia before King Fahd ascended to the throne in 1982. She says his son made her the offer of cash and properties – on Cheyne Walk in Chelsea, an exclusive street overlooking the River Thames – at a meeting in 2003, two years before his father died.
The judge said Prince Aziz, who did not attend the hearing, had not made any response “as regards the accuracy or otherwise” of Mrs Harb’s allegations, but had instead restricted himself to “contesting the jurisdiction of the court”.
She added that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia had expressed its support for the prince’s claim for state immunity in the form of a letter issued through its London embassy.
The judge’s decision rested on whether immunity could be extended to everything that King Fahd had done while he was head of Saudi Arabia, even after he was dead. She ruled that it could not.
A Christian who was born in poverty in Palestine, Mrs Harb has previously claimed she met the King at a party in Beirut and that while she was married to him, she was not allowed outside the palace walls and was prohibited from having children.
She claims she was eventually ordered to leave the country because the rest of the Saudi royal family did not approve of the marriage, but that she had remained in touch with the King by telephone throughout his life.
Her solicitor, Mandeep Kaur Virdee of Neumans LLP, said: “We are delighted with the outcome of this judgment. The law surrounding this area has already established, confirming that personal immunity ceases when a head of state is no longer in office for any reason.”
A spokesman for Neumans added: “Mrs Harb is passionate about sharing her personal account of what it is truly like to be married to a Saudi King and believes the exposure will be of public interest.
“Her story has received international interest from film producers and she is currently in detailed discussions to progress the adaptation of her book into a film. There are also negotiations under way with regard to the publishing of her book in advance of this.”
- 2 The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
- 3 #FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
- 4 Scientists have discovered a simple way to cook rice that dramatically cuts the calories
Germanwings captain Patrick Sondenheimer tried to break into locked cockpit door 'with an axe' as plane was descending
Amanda Knox murder conviction: Italian court overturns verdict for US student and Raffaele Sollecito in the killing of Meredith Kercher
Saudi Arabia says it won't rule out building nuclear weapons
The battle for the Middle East's future begins in Yemen as Saudi Arabia jumps into the abyss
#FreeTheNipple: Women in Iceland bare breasts in solidarity with trolled student
Nigel Farage brands LGBT activists 'filth' and 'scum' and accuses them of scaring away his children after they invade his local pub
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
JK Rowling responds to fan tweeting she 'can't see' Dumbledore being gay
Russia threatens Denmark with nuclear weapons if it tries to join Nato defence shield
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Germanwings plane crash live: Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz wanted to 'do something people would remember him for'
£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped commission: SThree: Does earning a 6 figu...
£18000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A challenging opportunity for a...