Sultan bin Turki: Outspoken Saudi Prince 'kidnapped by Royal family', say associates

He is the third member of the Saudi royal family to seemingly go missing without explanation over the course of the last 12 months

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The Independent Online

A Saudi price has been taken out of Europe and flown to Saudi Arabia against his will, his staff and associates have alleged.

Prince Sultan bin Turki has an acrimonious relationship with the Saudi government and is seen by many as a lone voice for reform within the royal family. He brought legal action against the Royals following an alleged kidnapping in 2004 and employs 24 hour personal protection guards.

Members of his entourage have told The Guardian that the Prince boarded a Saudi plane in Paris which was bound for Cairo on 1 February. However, the aircraft never arrived and appears to have disappeared. One associate said: “There was a Saudi plane with a flight plan to Cairo but the plane did not fly to Cairo. This airplane had a Saudi flag on the tail. This plane came from the kingdom.”

Another said that a senior member of the royal family had spoken to the Prince several times before the flight departed in order to reassure him. The associate said: “He called him two or three times, talking with full courtesy, he even sent him some money. When the Sultan decided to come from Paris to Cairo, [the senior royal] said ‘Don’t worry, we will arrange that for you’ and apparently he felt comfortable. But it was a big mistake and he paid the price.”

Another said: “Last call we had he was laughing and said as a joke ‘I am supposed to come to Cairo this week by royal aircraft. If you didn’t find me they have taken me to [Saudi capital] Riyadh, try to do something’.”

He is the third member of the Saudi royal family to seemingly go missing without explanation over the course of the last 12 months. 

The Prince has previously accused the Royal family of kidnapping him in 2004 one month after he threatened to uncover corruption of Saudi officials. He says that to prevent damaging secrets from getting out, his royal cousin arranged for him to be kidnapped and forcibly removed from Europe and returned to Saudi Arabia. He filed a complaint with Swiss police in 2014 saying that he was attending a meeting with members of the royal family when they left the room and two heavy built men burst in. The reportedly gagged him, restrained him and hit him on the back of the head, causing him to lose consciousness. He says that he then woke up in a hospital in Saudi Arabia.

He says he was then kept under house arrest for six years until he managed to escape in 2010.

The Independent has contacted the Saudi royal family for comment.