For sale: Saudi Prince's $150 million fixer upper
So here's the situation: a certain Saudi prince currently under investigation for corruption has listed his modest, 56,000 sq. ft. Aspen, Colo. crib with Joshua Saslove, a real estate broker who deals primarily with expensive fixer-uppers.
Prince Bandar bin Sultan may need some spare cash. He is currently the subject of a formal investigation by the US Department of Justice into allegations that BAE Systems, Europe's largest defence firm, paid him around £1 billion in bribes.
However: don't expect a desperation sale, or be able to traipse through The Hala Ranch. So far only 11 potential buyers have been able to see the spread.
So far about 1,000 people have asked to see the Hala Ranch, a 56,000sq ft residence bigger than the White House, near the fashionable ski resort of Aspen.
But the Prince and his estate agents have so far only allowed 11 potential buyers to view the 15 bedroom, 16 bathroom home which also has its own beauty salon, indoor pool and car wash.
The house sale could, however, be the least of the prince's problems.
It is claimed that the prince received up to £120million a year from BAE over a 10-year period. The prince, who is now head of the Saudi national security council and is therefore spending less time in the US, has rejected the claims, as have executives at BAE.
This is from the official Saudi embassy website:
His Royal Highness Prince Bandar bin Sultan bin Abdulaziz was appointed Secretary-General of the National Security Council by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah on October 16, 2005. Prior to his appointment, Prince Bandar served as the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to the United States of America from October 24, 1983 to September 8, 2005.
Prince Bandar was born in Saudi Arabia on March 2, 1949, at Taif, the summer capital of the Kingdom, the son of His Royal Highness Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud, the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defense and Aviation, and Inspector-General. He is married to Princess Haifa Bint Faisal. He has four sons and four daughters.
There is no word of the investigation on the official Saudi website; however this account appears on Wikipedia's Bandar page:
Bandar helped negotiate the 1985 Al Yamamah deal, a series of massive arms sales by the United KingdomGB£40 billion (US$80 billion), including the sale of more than 100 warplanes. After the deal was signed, British arms manufacturer British Aerospace (now BAE Systems) allegedly funneled secret payments of at least GB£1 billion (US$2 billion) into two Saudi embassy accounts in Washington, in yearly installments of up to GB£120 million (US$240 million) over at least 10 years. Bandar allegedly took money for personal use out of the
accounts, as the purpose of one of the accounts was to pay the operating expenses of the prince's private Airbus A340. According to investigators, there was "no distinction between the
accounts of the embassy, or official government accounts, and the accounts of the royal family." The payments were discovered during a Serious Fraud Office investigation, which was stopped in December 2006 by attorney general Lord Goldsmith. 
Salon.com has excerpted a portion of "House of Bush, House of Saud" by Craig Unger. Here is a sharply-drawn portrait of the prince:
Profane, flamboyant and cocksure, Bandar entertained lavishly at his spectacular estates all over the world. Whenever he was safely out of Saudi Arabia and beyond the reach of the puritanical form of Islam it espoused, he puckishly flouted Islamic tenets by sipping brandy and smoking Cohiba cigars. And when it came to embracing the culture of the infidel West, Bandar outdid even the most ardent admirers of Western civilization -- that was him patrolling the sidelines of Dallas Cowboys football games with his friend Jerry Jones, the team's owner. To militant Islamic fundamentalists who loathed pro-West multibillionaire Saudi royals, no one fit the bill better than Bandar.