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Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Exonerated by Spanish Court

March 29, 2012

The office of HRH Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz has been advised by counsel that a three-judge Spanish appeals panel has ordered final unappealable closure of a wholly false yet widely publicized claim accusing Prince Alwaleed of an alleged sexual assault in Ibiza, Spain in 2008.  The unusually detailed and lengthy ruling makes plain that Prince Alwaleed had nothing to do with the alleged offence and could not have had any involvement.  In fact, while the Court had the option of merely exonerating Prince Alwaleed, it went further and dismissed the totality of the claims by the self-described victim, a young model.  In doing so, the Court engaged in a disciplined factual analysis which eviscerated her credibility, pointing to a multitude of inconsistencies, the absence of any corroborating evidence of her continuously changing story and the fact that all the physical evidence, including a physical examination by an independent physician after the night in question and the report of an independent toxicologist, contradicted her claims of assault and drugging.

The Court emphatically agreed with a previous order from a German court rejecting the model’s claim in Germany and closing those proceedings, stating that: 

“proceedings will only be initiated in respect of prosecutable criminal acts if there are sufficient elements of fact to do so and that in the evidence provided there was no indication that the accused (Mr. Al Waleed bin Talal) could have been involved in any way in the events.”  

The Court explained that merely making an accusation is not sufficient unless there is convincing evidence of involvement of the accused saying,

“The fact is that the Public Prosecutor’s Office (and in principle the Court as well) was never convinced of the involvement of the person against who the complaint was made.”

Indeed, it was the Public Prosecutor’s Office which sought the specific action taken by the Court and the form of ruling that was issued.  Among other issues highlighted by the Court were:

The unorthodox way in which HRH Prince Alwaleed’s name was brought into the case almost a year after it was first initiated in August 2008.  His name was introduced by the model’s lawyers and not by the model in her testimony.  Moreover, at no time did the model attribute to HRH Prince Alwaleed any act involving violence, intimidation or sexual abuse.

The model’s submission of photographs with an arrow pointing to an individual who is not HRH Prince Alwaleed and whom she, in the presence of her lawyer and her mother, identified as the rapist.

The complete lack of an account of the specific events that took place, both in the report made by the model to the National Police in Ibiza and before the Court of Instruction in Madrid in August and December 2008 and, when pressed on these issues by the Court in December 2011, the model’s improbable and unconvincing attempts to cover up this failing by attacking both the officers of the National Police and the “haste” of the Judge.  

The model’s account of the effect of the drugs with which she claims that her drink was spiked.  The Court relied on the report of the independent medical examiner, which contradicted her contrived version of events. 

The model’s acknowledgement that she lied on the question as to whether she had maintained sexual relations prior to the events complained of.

 “The full process of the Spanish justice system has taken its course and significant resources have been devoted to the investigation of these false claims.  The manifest deficiencies in the allegations against HRH Prince Alwaleed were overwhelming, and the appellate court has taken forceful and appropriate action to put an end to the resulting injustice.  HRH Prince Alwaleed was not involved; indeed he was not even in Ibiza or Spain at the time of the alleged assault.  Further, the Court decisively concluded, there is no physical or testimonial evidence beyond the discredited accuser herself”, said Javier Sanchez-Vera Gómez-Trelles, partner at the firm Oliva-Ayala. 

Ms. Heba Fatani, Sr. Executive Manager, Corporate Communications, Kingdom Holding Company noted: “As we have said repeatedly since His Royal Highness first learned of these charges last September, these allegations were utterly false.  HRH Prince Alwaleed is a respected public figure throughout the world and is widely known for his commitment to family, devotion to his religion, support for women’s rights and generosity to those in need.  It is vital to protect the judicial system and deter other unscrupulous schemers from deliberately attacking innocent parties.  After today’s ruling, and to that end, we begin the process of holding those who concocted these disgraceful lies, including those in the news media that spread them without a single confirmed fact, fully responsible for their actions.  His Royal Highness intends to ensure that those responsible are held accountable”.

The conduct of the model, her mother and her lawyers in this case has been particularly blameworthy. Each was singled out in the Court’s thorough ruling.  The model and her mother have admitted that they only learned of HRH Prince Alwaleed by searching the Internet for “Saudi Royal Family,” yet even then, as the Court pointed out, they did not identify HRH Prince Alwaleed as her alleged attacker, an outrageous defect which, the Court agreed, “infected the whole investigation”.  Their accusations varied wildly each time they were recounted in the proceedings and the press, in both Spain and Germany.  After the model, her mother and her lawyers learned along with the rest of the world that HRH Prince Alwaleed had been in France at the time of the alleged events, they deliberately initiated a relentless public attack on HRH Prince Alwaleed through a public relations campaign involving multiple interviews, calls to reporters, and television appearances, all in an attempt to harm HRH Prince Alwaleed through the media.   As the Court repeatedly observed, although the model’s lawyers were active in the media, they tellingly neglected even to file a brief opposing the appeal.  Showing further contempt for the Spanish judicial system, they even tried to shift jurisdictions and peddle their story to German prosecutors, who, after interviewing the model, promptly rejected her claims as being unsupported and closed the investigation.  

“No one’s character should be subject to such dishonest attacks. The actions on the part of the model, her mother and their lawyers are reprehensible.  Actions have consequences and in order to discourage others from engaging in such scurrilous conduct in the future, the consequences must be severe.  We already are pursuing criminal actions against the model, her mother and her attorneys, as well as professional sanctions against the lawyers for their unethical behavior, all of which can now move forward.  We intend to vigorously pursue all legal options at our disposal and send a clear message that such unprincipled and base behavior is not acceptable and will not be tolerated in a civil society,“ said Javier Sanchez-Vera Gómez-Trelles.