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Mon 11 Feb 2008 02:31 AM

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Saudi prince in US asset removal ban

Former ambassador bought property worth millions with alleged BAE bribery payments, lawsuit claims.

Saudi prince Bandar bin Sultan has been banned from removing proceeds from real estate sales from the US until a lawsuit related to his dealings with BAE Systems has been resolved, it was reported Sunday.

The former Saudi ambassador to the US is a defendant in a suit filed last September by a Michigan city retirement system, said newswire Dow Jones.

It accuses BAE directors of “breaches of fiduciary duties” in connection with alleged bribery payments of $2 billion to Bandar during an $86 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia in 1985.

City of Harper Woods Employees' Retirement System claims Bandar used the payments to acquire US property, including a Colorado ranch and mansion worth at least $135 million, and the former William Randolph Hearst mansion in California.

A federal judge issued a temporary order demanding that Bandar deposits or invests all proceeds from property sales in US accounts. The order does not prevent him from dealing in property in the meantime.

BAE and Bandar have always denied any illegal payments were made.

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