Thu Sep 15, 2011
Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of King Abdullah, has landed in hot waters as a Spanish court reopens a three-year-old rape case against him.
The court started a probe into allegations that the Saudi multibillionaire raped a model on a yacht in the Mediterranean Sea in August 2008, according to a ruling seen by AFP Wednesday.
The case concerns Prince Talal, who is being asked to respond to a complaint of sexual assault against him by a model who was 20 at the time.
The prince denied the allegations and said he only heard of them on Tuesday.
A May 24 ruling by a court in the Balearic Islands said the complainant, who was not named, believed a drug was added to her drink in a nightclub on the island after she met the Saudi prince.
A judge in the Balearic island of Ibiza in May 2010 had ordered the case closed for lack of evidence, but the provincial court of the Balearic Islands overturned that ruling on May 24 and a court in Ibiza on July 27 reopened the proceedings to formally request assistance from the Saudi authorities to take a statement from the accused.
The 56-year-old prince has holdings in Citibank and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. Forbes magazine lists him as the 26th richest person in the world with assets of $19.6 billion.