A Saudi prince jailed for life in Britain for murdering his servant has been flown home to serve the rest of his sentence, the British government said Wednesday.
Prince Saud bin Abdulaziz bin Nasir, a grandson of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, was jailed in 2010 for killing Bandar Abdullah Abdulaziz in a London hotel after subjecting him to a "sadistic" campaign of violence and sexual abuse.
But Britain's Ministry of Justice confirmed that the 36-year-old royal flew back to Saudi Arabia on Monday after he was granted a transfer to a prison in his homeland.
Details of the transfer were announced last month.
"We have a prison transfer arrangement with Saudi Arabia which allows nationals of either country to serve their prison sentence in their home state," a ministry spokeswoman said.
"Prince Saud has now returned to Saudi Arabia to serve the rest of his sentence. He was transferred in the same way that all prisoners are returned home and is the first prisoner to transfer under this arrangement."
Saud's trial at England's Old Bailey central criminal court in London heard that he had ordered gay escorts and had frequently looked at websites for gay massage parlours and escort agencies.
The prince denied being gay and his lawyers argued that he could face the death penalty in Saudi Arabia over the allegations of homosexuality.
The jury heard that the prince beat and strangled Abdulaziz to death on 15 February, 2010, fuelled by champagne and cocktails, after the pair returned from a Valentine's Day night out.
A post-mortem found that Abdulaziz had suffered heavy blows to the head, injuries to the brain and ears, and severe neck injuries consistent with strangulation by hand.
Prosecutors said bite marks on his cheeks showed a clear "sexual element" to the killing.