"Gay" Saudi Prince Faces Death Penalty

By Advocate.com Editors

Originally published on Advocate.com October 15 2010 12:25 PM ET

The Saudi prince on trial in London for beating his servant to death could face the death penalty in his homeland over allegations that he’s gay, the court heard Friday.


Saud Bin Abdulaziz Bin Nasir al Saud, 34, who is a grandson of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, has admitted to beating Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz to death in Febuary in a London hotel. He also admitted to having abused him for weeks.

But he has pleaded not guilty to murder, and he claims allegations that the two were lovers are false.

According to AFP, prosecutor Bobbie Cheema told England's Old Bailey central criminal court Thursday that “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."

Cheema said prosecution would be a matter for the Saudi authorities and that family members can sometimes play a role in determining what punishment is carried out. Gay Saudis have previously been granted asylum in Britain.