By Rhys Jones
Details of the Saudi royal family’s finances and opulent lifestyle are set to be exposed as King Fahd faces a divorce case in the UK.
A divorce case against Saudi Arabia’s king Fahd, who is said to be worth around US$58 billion, is set to be heard in a British court.
London-based Janan Harb, who is originally Jordanian, last week filed a claim that she is one of the king’s wives and that he has failed to provide reasonable maintenance for her. She first filed a claim last January, but two subsequent rulings found that the king could not be sued because he has sovereign immunity.
The case will be heard in public after appeal court judges decided the ailing monarch’s identity is relevant to the case. It was decided that any appeal against the immunity must be heard in secret, but appeal court judges ruled last week that such actions should be heard in public.
Outlining the court of appeal decision, Lord Justice Thorpe said that Harb was paid “a very substantial sum for entering into a binding deed of confidentiality”, covering all aspects of her past relationship with the king. He added that she “"was seen as a potential source of embarrassment” by the Saudi royals.
The case paves the way for details of the secretive Saudi royal family’s finances and grand lifestyle to be exposed in an unprecedented way.
King Fahd, 83, was admitted to hospital last month with pneumonia after complaining of breathing problems but is expected to be discharged this week.