Saudi prince`s wife denies Spain rape allegations

The wife of billionaire Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal denied claims her husband raped a model on a yacht in Spain in 2008.

Riyadh: The wife of billionaire Saudi
Prince Alwaleed bin Talal denied claims her husband raped a
model on a yacht in Spain in 2008, saying she was with him in
France when the alleged crime took place.

"I was with my husband outside of Spain the day these
allegations took place in Ibiza," Amira al-Taweel was quoted
as saying by the prince`s chief of staff, Kholud al-Dussari.

"Quite simply we were not there. We were together in the
French city of Cannes. I was with him all the time, and we
were with at least 30 people," she said.

"Hundreds of witnesses can confirm that we were in
Cannes, just as there are dozens of proofs that we were not in
Ibiza in 2008."

A Spanish court has reopened a probe into the
allegations, according to a ruling seen by AFP on Wednesday.

Prince Alwaleed is a nephew of King Abdullah and one of
world`s richest men. He is being asked to respond to a
complaint of sexual assault against him in August 2008 by a
model who was 20 at the time.

In a statement, Alwaleed`s Kingdom Holding Co denied the
allegations and said he only heard of them on Tuesday.

"These allegations are completely and utterly false. The
alleged encounter simply never happened. Indeed, the events
could not have happened," said the statement published on the
company`s website.

A judge on the Balearic island of Ibiza ordered the case
closed in May 2010 for lack of evidence.

But a provincial court 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 prince.

The prince, 56, 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 USD 19.6
billion (14.4 billion euros).

PTI

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