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Saudi prince condemns rape accuser after Spanish court dismisses her case

By Michael Martinez, CNN
updated 3:35 PM EDT, Thu March 29, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says court ruling dismisses "totality" of rape accusation
  • A Spanish court "eviscerated" the credibility of young woman model accuser, prince says
  • The model, her lawyers and her mom waged "a relentless public attack," prince says
  • "Their accusations varied wildly each time," bin Talal says

(CNN) -- Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, one of the world's richest men, Thursday excoriated a young woman model whose accusation that he raped her was dismissed a day earlier by a Spanish court, the prince said in a statement.

Bin Talal said the court ruling "dismissed the totality of the claims by the self-described victim."

"In doing so, the court engaged in a disciplined factual analysis which eviscerated her credibility, pointing to a multitude of inconsistencies, the absence of any corroborating evidence of her continuously changing story and the fact that all the physical evidence, including a physical examination by an independent physician after the night in question and the report of an independent toxicologist, contradicted her claims of assault and drugging," the prince said in a statement Thursday.

Bin Talal said the conduct of the model, her lawyers and her mother were "particularly blameworthy."

"The model and her mother have admitted that they only learned of HRH Prince Alwaleed by searching the Internet for 'Saudi Royal Family,' yet even then, as the Court pointed out, they did not identify HRH Prince Alwaleed as her alleged attacker, an outrageous defect which, the court agreed, 'infected the whole investigation'," the statement from the prince's office said.

"Their accusations varied wildly each time they were recounted in the proceedings and the press, in both Spain and Germany," the prince said.

"After the model, her mother and her lawyers learned along with the rest of the world that HRH Prince Alwaleed had been in France at the time of the alleged events, they deliberately initiated a relentless public attack on HRH Prince Alwaleed through a public relations campaign involving multiple interviews, calls to reporters, and television appearances, all in an attempt to harm HRH Prince Alwaleed through the media," the prince said.

The young woman had alleged that the prince raped her on a yacht on the island of Ibiza in 2008.

On Wednesday, a Spanish court in Palma de Mallorca found there wasn't sufficient evidence to press charges.

The prince, who was never formally charged in the case, has long maintained that he is innocent, that he hasn't been in Ibiza in more than a decade and that others have tried to impersonate him.

In September, a Spanish court reopened the investigation into the rape allegation.

The woman filed her complaint in Ibiza in August 2008, but a local judge shelved it in 2010, citing a lack of evidence that a crime had been committed, according to court documents.

The woman appealed to the next highest court, the Balearic Island Provisional Court, which ruled the lower court in Ibiza should reopen the investigation.

According to court documents obtained by CNN, the victim argued in her appeal that the real reason the lower court tossed out the case was that the alleged perpetrator was a powerful member of the Saudi royal family.

In September, the Saudi prince, a billionaire and the biggest foreign investor in companies such as News Corp. and Twitter, said in a statement that he was just learning of the accusation.

"These allegations are completely and utterly false," said the statement from his investment firm, Kingdom Holding Company. "The alleged encounter simply never happened."

According to the September statement, the prince doesn't vacation in Spanish waters.

But Max Turiel, one of the lawyers for the alleged victim, said last year there was evidence his team had wanted the court to examine further.

According to the court documents, the woman believed her drink had been drugged. She sent a text message to a friend stating as much. She awoke on a yacht to find she was being sexually assaulted by a man she identified as the prince, according to court documents.

Turiel said "there were remains of semen" that should be examined against the prince's DNA, as well as "remains of a tranquilizer that produced the symptoms she had."

The evidence came from tests carried out 30 hours after the alleged rape, the attorney said, so any alcohol was gone from her body, but not the drug or the DNA.

In September, Turiel said the alleged victim's mother could answer questions from CNN, but only through e-mail. He provided responses to questions that he said were from the mother. CNN could not independently confirm the message was from the victim's mother.

"She wanted to reopen the case due to the huge injustice and a feeling of a helplessness; powerful people should not take undue advantage of it and have others subjected to them," the message said.

The message described the "man or men" who allegedly abused the young woman as powerful individuals who threatened her onboard the yacht.

Asked if her daughter was afraid to appeal the case, the mother said, "Part of the fear has a lot of dignity and that can't be bought nor scared off with threats."

The young woman, a dual Spanish and German citizen, was 23 in September, the e-mail said.

CNN's Al Goodman in Madrid, Spain, contributed to this report.

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