Woman claiming to be late Saudi king’s ‘wife’ loses legal battle

London, June 16 (IANS) A woman claiming to be the “wife” of late Saudi King Fahd has lost the latest round of a legal battle with his son over a $28 million payout she was awarded by the courts.

The Palestinian-born socialite Janan Harb, 68, claimed she married the late King Fahd when she was 19, and his son, Prince Abdul Aziz, promised her the package “to buy her silence”, Daily Mail reported.

A judge awarded her $16.9 million, plus interest, and two Chelsea properties worth $7 million last November, but Prince Aziz asked the appeals court to quash the unsustainable award.

His legal team claimed that the judge did not analyse the evidence before him correctly and may have been biased due to a public spat with one of the barristers representing the prince.

The appeal judge called her “unsatisfactory” and described some of her evidence as “bizarre”.

“We regret to say that in our view the deficiencies in the judgment are so serious that it cannot be allowed to stand and that the matter must be remitted to the High Court for re-trial,” Judge Lord Dyson said.

Harb married a Lebanese lawyer in 1974 and had two daughters and claimed the late king gave her money to help support them and $1.4 million to buy one of the Chelsea flats.

She also purchased the second flat and later sold them back to the King for $3.6 million.

The court heard that, in 2001, the late King gave her $7 million through his agent Faez Martini.

In his judgment, Justice Smith said she used $4.2 million of that to pay off debts including an $119,935 gambling debt, then gambled away or spent the balance of $2.6 million within two years on her lavish lifestyle.

In her battle with the prince, she threatened to “spill the beans” on their relationship and has written two books that are as yet unpublished.

–IANS

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