Casanova and the prince

The campaign by Saudi conservatives against Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the liberal-minded multi-billionaire, has moved up a notch with calls to shut down LBC television’s operations in Saudi Arabia.

The Lebanese-based channel, which is 49% owned by Prince Alwaleed’s business empire, got into trouble last month when Mazen Abdul Jawad, a 32-year-old Saudi (now known throughout the Middle East as “the Casanova of Jeddah”)boasted on air about his sexual exploits.

A YouTube clip of the Casanova interview has now been blocked by the Saudi authorities after being watched by several hundred thousand people, and it looks as if Casanova himself may be put on trial once the authorities have made up their minds about what crime he committed.

Prince Alwaleed was already being targeted for his involvement in the Jeddah Film Festival which was summarily shut down for unspecified reasons just as it was about to start.

The Lebanese Daily Star and The National in the Emirates are both following the story.

Posted by Brian Whitaker, 5 August 2009