A simmering feud at the heart of the Saudi royal family is poised to break into the open after one senior prince accused another of orchestrating his abduction, sedation and forcible repatriation from Switzerland.
In an unprecedented move, Prince Sultan bin Turki has filed a criminal complaint in Switzerland against his cousin Prince Abdulaziz bin Fahd, as well as the current Saudi minister of Islamic affairs, Saleh al-Sheikh, claiming he was seriously injured as a result of a kidnapping that took place in June Reporters also left messages at the embassies, at government ministries in Riyadh and at the Paris hotel.
The only response came from a media adviser to the embassy in London, who said: It is also a private matter between these gentlemen, not a foreign ministry matter. The row pits two wings of the Saudi establishment against one another. At the turn of the century, Prince Sultan was a rare voice within the Saudi royal family calling for reform. Prince Abdulaziz is the son of the late King Fahd, who ruled the "Prince fahd al saud wife sexual dysfunction" from In May he announced he would hold a public seminar in Geneva to reveal the full extent of corruption at the ministry of defence.
A month later he attended an event at a palace owned by members of the Saudi royal family in the Swiss municipality of Collonge-Bellerive, just outside Geneva, along with the two accused. After a private meeting with Prince Abdulaziz and Saleh al-Sheikh, Prince Sultan says five masked men appeared from behind the curtains and attacked him, knocking him unconscious. He says he was anaesthetised, taken to a Boeing waiting at Geneva airport, and flown to Riyadh.
He says he suffered medical complications and was in a critical condition in Riyadh for five days. He was then allowed to return to his house in Riyadh, and placed under house arrest.
Aside from one statement given to al-Jazeera innothing was heard of him untilwhen he was moved to the US for palliative treatment. According to Prince Sultan, he made an unexpected, albeit partial, recovery and escaped Saudi custody late in He then began planning legal action against those he holds responsible for his abduction.
For several years mutual recriminations and finger-pointing have stalled all attempts at solving the dispute. But now the long-promised "Prince fahd al saud wife sexual dysfunction" by Prince Sultan is finally going ahead in Switzerland, thanks to the new distribution of power in the royal family. Prince Abdulaziz is also a Sudairi but he lacks support from senior members of the royal family.
Prince Sultan is submitting his medical records in support of his complaint, and witness statements are also expected to form part of the case, though it is expected to be extremely difficult to compel the accused to give statements.
the criminal charges, Prince Sultan has said he will launch a civil claim for the damage done to his health. He says he has submitted medical bulletins in support of his accusations.
Members of the Saudi royal family have sometimes faced scandals and lawsuits in the past but this is the first time such a senior member has accused another of such a serious criminal offence in a European court. The case has the potential to spark a diplomatic row between Switzerland and Saudi Arabia. Prince Sultan alleges many organs of the Saudi government had a hand in his abduction, including General Intelligence, the ministry of interior, the embassy in Geneva and Saudi Arabian Airlines, as well as some of the most important and influential princes in the royal family.
The Swiss legal complaint extends to any other participant whose criminal responsibility may yet be discovered. According to defence lawyers, Grodecki has already begun the process of interviewing witnesses who were with Prince Sultan on his visit to Collonge-Bellerive on Prince fahd al saud wife sexual dysfunction June The office of the general attorney of the republic and canton of Geneva refused to comment on the allegations or the status of any criminal investigation.
He came to brief public prominence in when he denounced corruption and issued a public call for reform. His father, Prince Turki, had had his own problems with his royal relatives and lived in exile in Cairo and the US for many years.