Thursday, 21 March 2013

Saudi Arabia: Getting Away With Murder

A Saudi prince jailed for life in Britain for murdering his servant has been flown back to the Middle Eastern country to serve the rest of his sentence, the British government said Wednesday.
Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Nasir, a grandson of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, was jailed in 2010 for killing Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz in a London hotel after subjecting him to a 'sadistic' campaign of violence and sexual abuse.
But Britain's Ministry of Justice confirmed that the 36-year-old royal flew back to Saudi Arabia on Monday after he was granted a transfer to a prison in his homeland.
'We have a prison transfer arrangement with Saudi Arabia which allows nationals of either country to serve their prison sentence in their home state,' a ministry spokeswoman said.
'Prince Saud has now returned to Saudi Arabia to serve the rest of his sentence. He was transferred in the same way that all prisoners are returned home and is the first prisoner to transfer under this arrangement...'

The Daily Mail, March 21st.

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) condemns the forthcoming official visit of Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia because it openly supports a deeply repressive and abusive regime and promotes the already strong military ties between the UK and Saudi Arabia. The visit comes two years after the Saudi Arabian National Guard sent British-made armoured personnel vehicles into Bahrain to support the suppression of protests there.
The first listed of the themes of the visit is the "military links between the Saudi and UK Armed Forces". It is likely that the visit has been added to the Prince's Middle East itinerary in an attempt to persuade the Saudi regime to finalise a contract for 48 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft. Prime Minister David Cameron's trip in November 2012 failed to do this, the UK government probably believes the Saudis will be more impressed with a royal.
The UK sells more arms to Saudi Arabia than to any other country. Over the past five years the UK has licensed almost £4 billion worth of weaponry to Saudi Arabia and it wants to sell even more.

Campaign Against The Arms Trade, March 14th.

Obviously you'd have to be pretty cynical to see any connection between buttering up the Saudis before a prospective multi-million pound arms deal and this groundbreaking legal first...

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