Saudi prince ‘could face death penalty for being gay’

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A Saudi prince accused of murdering his servant in a London hotel room could face the death penalty at home for being gay, the Old Bailey heard today.

Saud Abdulaziz bin Nasser al Saud, 34, was accused of murdering Bandar Abdulaziz, 32, in a “sexually-motivated” attack last February.

The court heard last week that there was “conclusive evidence” that he is gay and two male escorts are alleged to have performed sex acts on him.

Mr al Saud denies he is gay and his lawyer, John Kelsey-Fry, says the pair were not in a relationship.

Today, the court heard that Saudi Arabia has strict laws against homosexuality and that Mr al Saud, whose mother is one of King Abdullah’s daughters, could be executed.

According to AFP, Bobbie Cheema, prosecuting, said: “Homosexuality is illegal in Saudi Arabia and carries the death penalty which is still applied in some cases.

“The country in which any alleged acts took place would have little bearing on the likelihood of prosecution as the Saudi legal system is based on the sharia law which is considered to be universal.”

She added that he could be at risk from his own family and from members of the victim’s family.

Mr Kelsey-Fry said that the law would only apply if his client had been in a gay relationship.

Mr Abdulaziz was found beaten and strangled in bed at the pair’s room at the Landmark Hotel on February 15th.

Mr al Saud denies murder and one count of grievous bodily harm with intent.

The case continues.