A Saudi prince allegedly threatened to behead a business partner and ship his body parts back to his family in Jordan, it was revealed in contested court evidence as part of a legal battle currently before the High Court in London.
The case involves a Jordanian businessman Faisal Almhairat who set up a telecoms company named Fi Call, which developed a software application for smartphones that would allow users to make free phone calls.
Almhairat went into partnership with two Saudi princes, Prince Mishal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, a former defence minister and brother of King Abdullah, and his son Prince Abdulaziz bin Mishal bin Al Saud, who agreed to invest in the business.
According to court documents, the partnership eventually broke down over the movement of funds through company accounts and a disagreement over the ownership of shares.
As part of evidence submitted in the case, Almhairat’s legal team presented a contested transcript of conversations in which Prince Abdulaziz threatened Almhairat and his family.
Below is a transcript of a telephone conversation which allegedly took place between Prince Abdulaziz and Faisal Almhairat on March 21, 2010:
Prince Abdulaziz: Hello, Faisal
Faisal Almhairat: Who is this?
Prince Abdulaziz: This is Abdulaziz
Faisal Almhairat: Yes, Your Royal Highness
Prince Abdulaziz: Hello Faisal, How are you?
Faisal Almhairat: Very well, thank you, Your Royal Highness
Prince Abdulaziz: [XXX] has told me about the conversation he had with you. I'm not pleased with it.
Faisal Almhairat: I'm sorry to hear that.
Prince Abdulaziz: Faisal, I thought you were a smart man and understood your position. There is no need to explain more. Yet, it seems that I should spend my time explaining the position to you.
Faisal Almhairat: I just asked [XXX] why he would be dealing with Hezbollah.
Prince Abdulaziz: Faisal, listen to me carefully. I'll explain this only once.
Faisal Almhairat: Yes, Your Royal Highness.
Prince Abdulaziz: We deal with whoever we want to deal with, whether it's Hezbollah, the mafia or even the Jews.
The important thing is that you implement any given order without questioning. Even your king does not raise a question.
Who the f*** are you to raise questions about my business?
When you work for us, it's a lifetime commitment. You agreed to obey us and in return you get our protection.
Yet, be sure if we remove our protection, you and all your family are dead within a second.
There is a single lesson which you should understand. Do as you are instructed. Otherwise, your head will be at my feet without your body.
When [XXX] tells you something on my behalf obey my orders without questioning.
Faisal Almhairat: But, Your Royal Highness…
Prince Abdulaziz: Shut-up! I haven't finished yet.
This deal is important and I need to show Hezbollah that we can transfer the money to them smoothly.
They have potentially billions which they want to be transferred.
My father is interested in this deal and he will be very pleased with us if things go well.
My father has placed me in charge of this company and has given his money to manage and I'll not disappoint him.
So don't disappoint me; if you want to stay alive. Hurry up to Beirut and finish the job".
Court documents also presented a contested transcript of a conversation which allegedly took place between Prince Abdulaziz and Almhairat at the Atlantis Hotel in Dubai on April 9, 2011.
Prince Abdulaziz: Listen, my father [Prince Mishal] will speak to you about [Fi Call] and he may speak about other activities.
I've given him a full briefing about you and I've told him that you're a trusted man and you are considered one of us. I told him that you helped move the money for us in Lebanon and I told him about your help in Nairobi.
Concerning Nairobi, XXX has said that you've been raising questions once again. It seems that you haven't understood my last lesson to you over the phone.
Listen, carefully to what I'm telling you now. My father will tell [you] everything.
Don't question my father about what he says or I swear you will not leave Dubai alive.
We'll ship your body in pieces back to Jordan after which we will take care of the other members of your damned family.
Faisal Almhairat: Yes, Your Royal Highness.
Prince Abdulaziz: My father likes to talk about his business of which he's proud.
Don't raise questions [or] provide an opinion.
Agree with everything he says. Let me make it clear. My father is my whole life.
Everything I do is with his permission and blessing. He's a great businessman. His biggest achievement is his ability to move money.
He moves more money than some of the biggest banks in the world.
So, if he speaks about it don't ask him stupid questions. It's your privilege to listen to a great teacher who may explain to you how he moves money for important people.
Just listen to him. My father has true power.
The case is taking place in the London High Court as the telecoms company was registered in the UK.
The two princes recently lost an appeal in which they claimed sovereign immunity and contested the UK’s jurisdiction in the case.
Earlier this year in May, the three judges in the case lifted a stay on reporting of court submissions. The trial is due to start in January 2014.