Brunei prince could be British jailbird

June 11, 2008 at 3:29 PM
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LONDON, June 11 (UPI) -- Prince Jefri, brother of the sultan of Brunei, could end up in a British prison after failing to show up at a court hearing.

A judge in London issued an arrest warrant after the prince failed to show up at a hearing before the High Court in London, The Telegraph reported. Prince Jefri is believed to have gone to Paris, but British authorities can now request his extradition.

The prince's legal difficulties stem from a long fight over the Brunei Investment Trust, controlled by the sultan. Prince Jefri allegedly embezzled $16 billion from the trust when he was finance minister, and agreed, in a settlement, to repay $6 billion, although he denied the theft.

The Privy Council in London approved the settlement last year.

Justice Peter Smith had scheduled a five-day trial in the High Court on charges that the prince concealed some of his accounts and removed money from others that had been frozen by court order.

Smith said that the prince is hoping "to work the system" by failing to appear for trial.

Topics: Peter Smith
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