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But is he a crook?

Prince Bandar is fighting back against British news reports that said he received $2 billion in kickbacks in a lucrative arms deal between his government and Britain’s largest defense contractor, BAE Systems.

The British Broadcasting Corp. and London’s Guardian newspaper reported that BAE established a secret slush fund for the Saudi royal family to secure an arms deal, originally signed in 1985.

Prince Bandar this week denounced the reports as a “pinnacle of slander and lies.”

“All the sums mentioned by the newspaper were transferred from Saudi government accounts to other accounts of the Saudi government and not to my personal accounts,” he said in a statement released to the state-owned Saudi Press Agency. “All the parties concerned in the Saudi government were aware and fully informed of all the spending through the accounts.”


U.S. Ambassador William Brownfield dismissed charges by Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez that the United States broadcast “subliminal messages” to encourage massive streets protests against the authoritarian president’s latest assault on press freedom.

“The United States is not supporting, participating in, pushing for or subliminally urging any of the people that march,” Mr. Brownfield told Union Radio in the Venezuelan capital Caracas this week.

{bullet} Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@washingtontimes.com.

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