The High Court has thrown out a claim of ‘state immunity’ in a financial wrangle involving a Palestinian woman who was married to the late king of Saudi Arabia.
Janan Harb says she secretly wed Fahd bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in 1968 at the age of 19, when the then prince worked as an interior minister in the Middle Eastern state. But she was later forced to leave the country, the Telegraph reports.
She is Palestinian by birth but now holds British citizenship.
Fahd ascended to the throne in 1982 after the death of his brother Khalid and reigned until his own death in 2005. The monarch had promised to provide for her financially, Mrs Harb insisted. Prince Abdul Aziz, son of King Fahd, later offered her £12 million, plus two high value flats in Chelsea, the court heard.
She has now launched proceedings in the High Court, claiming that she has received neither the money nor the property.
Prince Abdul Aziz had argued that the English courts had no jurisdiction in the case, on the grounds of “state immunity”.
But Mrs Justice Rose said he had received no response from the Prince to Mrs Harb’s claims, simply his objection the court’s jurisdiction. In addition state immunity no longer applied in the case, since King Fahd has passed away, the judge declared.
A full hearing in the dispute will now proceed
Mrs Farb said she was “happy and relieved” after the ruling and but said he would “accept the offer of the movie of the book I have written” if the Prince appealed.